Your body needs salt, which contains sodium to work properly. Sodium helps your body to control many functions. Too much sodium in the diet can be bad for you. For most people, the sodium in the diet comes from salt that is in food or that has been added to them.

If you have arterial hypertension or heart failure, you may need to reduce the amount of salt you eat every day. Even people with normal blood pressure will have lower (and more healthy) blood pressure if they reduce the amount of salt they eat.

The dietary sodium is measured in milligrams (mg) and your doctor may ask you not to eat more than 2,300 mg for day when suffering from these conditions. For some people, 1,500 mg a day is an even better goal.

Reducing salt in the diet

Eat a variety of foods every day can help you to reduce the salt. Try to eat a balanced diet.

Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when is possible, because they are naturally low in salt. Canned foods often contain salt to preserve food color and keep it looking fresh. For this reason, it is best to buy fresh foods when you can. Buy also:

-Meat Beef, chicken or turkey and fish fresh

-Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit.

Look for these words on labels: low sodium, sodium free, no added salt, low-sodium or unsalted. Check all labels for know how much salt or sodium foods contain per serving

The ingredients appear on the list in order of quantity that the food contains. Avoid foods that put the salt topping the list of ingredients. A product with less than 100 mg of salt per serving is good.

See also: How to read food labels.

Always stay away from foods that are high in salt. Some common foods are:

Processed-food, such as smoked or cured meats, bacon, hot dogs, sausage, bologna, ham and salami.

-Anchoas, Olives, pickles and sauerkraut.

-Salsa Soy (soybean) and Worcestershire, tomato juices and other vegetables, and most cheeses.

-Many Dressings

When cooking, replace salt with other seasonings. Pepper, garlic, herbs and lemon are good choices. Avoid packaged spice blends as these often contain salt. Use garlic and onion powder, not garlic salt and onion. Do not eat foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG)

When eating out, persists with steamed food, grilled, baked, boiled and gold without any salt, sauce or extra cheese. If you think the restaurant could use monosodium glutamate, ask them not to be added it to your order.

Use oil and vinegar on salads and add fresh or dried herbs. Eat fresh fruit or sorbet for dessert. Remove the salt shaker from the table and replace it with a mixture of salt free seasonings.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist antacids and laxatives which contain little or no salt, if you need these medicines. Some of them contain a lot of salt.

Softeners or water softeners at home add salt to it, so if you have one, you have to reduce the amount of tap water consumed and take bottled water instead.

Ask your doctor if a salt substitute is safe for you, as many of them contain much potassium. This can be harmful if you have certain health problems or are taking certain medications. However, if the extra potassium in the diet is not harmful in their case, a salt substitute is a good way to reduce the amount of sodium in the diet