Reston Hospital Center - June 05, 2018

You may only need to cut your daily sodium intake by a mere half teaspoon to see a benefit to your heart and brain.

In a dramatic new study, researchers estimate that cutting out just three grams a day (about half a teaspoon of salt) could prevent up to 99,000 heart attacks and 66,000 strokes a year.

Unseen sodium

So what's half a teaspoon? It’s the amount most of us probably put in our pasta water. Still, it’s unlikely that your pasta water is putting you over the limit. Research suggests we get up to 75 percent of our daily sodium intake from processed foods and restaurant meals. In fact, packaged and processed foods have so much sodium that most of us end up eating eight to 11 grams of salt a day — more than twice what’s recommended.

Lick the salt habit

Time to get serious about your sodium intake. Try these tips and tricks for kicking salt to the curb:

  • Freeze that fast-food fix. Instead of going out, cook meals at home using low-sodium recipes.
  • Read labels to find out where sodium lurks in your diet.
  • Cook with less salt but more flavor by using other flavorful spices to take your dish to the next level.