How to Eat Less Salt (and Still Enjoy your Food!)

Too much salt increases blood pressure, which puts unnecessary stress on your heart, arteries, and kidneys.

Ideally, you should consume less than 2,300mg of salt daily (1,500mg if you have high blood pressure or another cardiovascular disease/risk), but most of us eat closer to 3,400mg per day. Around 75% of that comes from processed foods!

To reduce the amount of salt you consume, choose foods in their natural, whole state most often. If you need to buy something prepared or processed, look for low sodium, no salt added, or salt free options.

It’s important to cook food in your own kitchen to easily control the amount of salt you use. Reduce salt in your cooking by:

  • replacing with other seasonings:
    • fresh/dried herbs
    • vinegar
    • mustard
    • lemon/lime juice
    • pepper
    • seasoning blends
    • garlic & onion powder
  • don’t salt water before cooking pasta, hot cereal, rice, or vegetables
  • leave salt out of recipes or cut the amount in half if possible

A squeeze of citrus is a great way to bring out the natural flavors in food without adding salt.

Start with small changes and in only two-three weeks, you’ll start to notice your taste buds change. Salty foods you ate before will now taste TOO salty since you’ve trained your taste buds to appreciate the natural flavors of food!

Try it now with this heart-healthy black bean and corn salsa or Creole braised chicken with yellow rice.

MeghanPerkins 150x150

Meghan Perkins is Project Angel Heart’s registered dietitian. After a semester studying baking and pastry arts at culinary school, Meghan quickly found her passion for clinical nutrition and transferred to the University of Northern Colorado to earn her bachelor’s degree in dietetics. Meghan has worked in clinical and private practice settings, educating patients about how their food choices impact their health with an emphasis on CKD, diabetes, heart disease, celiac disease, and weight management. In her free time, Meghan enjoys exploring Denver by bike with her husband, trying new coffee and tea shops, hiking in Crested Butte, and relaxing with her dog Barney. 

Kevin Giles 150x150

Kevin Giles is Project Angel Heart’s modified meals assistant. Kevin grew up in Dallas, Texas where he spent most of his time working in kitchens and attending a technical high school that taught culinary arts. In 2011, Kevin made the move to Denver to attend Johnson & Wales, and graduated with his degree in Culinary Nutrition in 2015. Kevin enjoys spending time snuggling with his two cats and going to the gym.