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Reduce Your Salt Intake, Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Recent studies continue to support the link to high sodium intake and stroke. Sodium intake above the American Heart Association’s recommended 1,500mg daily limit may increase stroke risk, with risk becoming progressively greater with higher sodium consumption.

Unfortunately once someone becomes used to the flavor of sodium, it's hard to break the habit of salting food. Fortunately, cutting sodium out of your diet is really not as challenging as you may think. We’ve rounded up some of the best tips and salt substitutes for cutting sodium intake.

Read Labels
When shopping for food, read food labels and choose foods that are lower in sodium.

According to the FDA the “Nutrition Facts Label on food and beverage packages lists the “Percent Daily Value (%DV)” of sodium in one serving of a food, based on 2,400 mg per day.  The %DV tells you whether a food contributes a little or a lot to your total daily diet. Foods providing 5%DV or less of sodium per serving are considered low in sodium and foods providing 20%DV or more of sodium per serving are considered high. Keep in mind, all of the nutrition information on the label is based upon one serving of the food and many packaged foods have more than one serving.”

Remember the American Heart Association recommends that consumers not exceed 100% of the daily limit and that daily intake should be 1,500 mg per day or about 65% of the daily value.

Avoid the Big 10
The Centers For Disease Control has named these 10 foods as the greatest sources of sodium:

  • breads and rolls
  • luncheon meat, such as deli ham or turkey
  • pizza
  • poultry, fresh and processed—(Much of the raw chicken bought from a store has been injected with a sodium solution.)
  • soups
  • cheeseburgers and other sandwiches
  • cheese, natural and processed
  • pasta dishes
  • meat dishes, such as meat loaf with gravy
  • savory snack foods, such as potato chips, pretzels and popcorn

Dining Out
“Approximately 75% of the total sodium intake for most individuals comes not from people adding salt to their food but from packaged and restaurant foods,” says Michael R. Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner. Many restaurants post their menu items daily values on line. Check it out before you go. You can also ask your waiter and the kitchen for low sodium options.

Savory Salt Substitutes

  • Lemon juice or grated lemon peel. Lemon adds taste and zest to any dish.
  • More pepper please. Black pepper can add spice to any dish. Try combining it with lemon or buy lemon pepper ad the store. Check to be sure it is sodium free.
  • Dried onion flakes can give your dish the same enhancement that you get from salt. Look for dried onion flakes with no added salt or mono-sodium glutamate (MSG).
  • Garlic has many health benefits and it adds zest to dishes. Try it with lemon for enhanced flavor. You can buy garlic whole or for a simpler solution, buy garlic powder (not garlic salt-which is just garlic powder mixed with salt) or a jar of chopped or mashed garlic.

Flavorful Salt Substitute
We tried a number of salt substitute recipes and really like this one by Crystal Ray. She also has a few other good salt substitute recipes you might like to try or do a Google search and find one that suits you best.
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon powdered orange peel
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons celery seed
2 tablespoons onion powder
4-½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 ½ teaspoons citric acid powder
1 teaspoon ground dill weed
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon powdered lemon peel
½ teaspoon dried cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in an electric blender, and grind them until they turn into fine powder. Store this flavorful salt substitute in a spice container with appropriate size holes, and keep it tightly sealed in a dark, cool location. With this tasty blend, those on a salt-free diet won't miss regular table salt

By: Stroke-Network.com Staff Writer Amy McCraken

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"It's clear that small changes in diet can make a huge difference in terms of stroke risk."

Stroke Prevention
Manage your controllable risk factors with regular medical checks-ups. Managing the following factors will reduce your risk of stroke:
Control Blood Pressure

    Stop Smoking
    Treat Heart Disease
    Improve Diet
    Avoid excess fats
    Avoid excess sodium
    Limit Alcohol
    Maintain a Healthy Weight
    Exercise Regularly
    Treat Diabetes
    Reduce Stress

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