How Much Salt?
We're constantly talking about what we can do to improve our site and frequently these discussions center around our recipes. We receive a tremendous amount of feedback on these and we’re always trying to provide not only other ideas (through recipes) on how to use our spices and seasonings, but we also want to present important nutritional information for each recipe we put on the site.
We made the decision early on not to rely on user generated recipe ideas like many of the “recipe sites”. Instead we wanted our recipe section to be more about quality recipes (including top quality photographs) that inspire our visitors to experiment with different dishes, spices and seasonings. On the other hand recipe sites seem to be more about just having a huge quantity of unimaginative recipes. We want to provide healthy recipes for foods that we like to eat and different regional cuisines that we like to experiment with.
Many doctors are telling Americans that they have to cut back on their salt consumption (for medical reasons). We also know that each year many New Year’s resolutions are made and many center around eating healthier. For many this should also include getting a better handle on their daily sodium consumption.
What Constitutes a Low Sodium Recipe?
So what's the maximum amount of sodium per serving for a recipe to be considered a “low sodium recipe”?
According to the CDC we do need a small amount of sodium each day to keep our body functioning properly. They state that we need a minimum of between 180mg-500mg per day. The typical American of course consumes significantly more than that (more than 3,400mg of sodium per day). The CDC also says that the acceptable daily amount of sodium, for those "not" under doctor's order to be lower, should be between 1,500mg and 2,300mg.
We'll use a daily average of 1,900mg per day which is right in middle of the 1,500mg and 2,300mg. So, if you were breaking this down per meal then each meal should be 375mg (if consuming 5 meals per day) or 633mg (if consuming 3 meals per day).
We know that sodium intake is a big concern to many of our customers which is why we also offer a large and growing selection of salt free seasonings to help out as much as possible.
Reducing Your Sodium Intake
Now of course if you’re one of those who consumes more than 3,400mg of sodium each day (and not under doctor's order to immediately lower this) you should strive for reducing your daily amount in small steps at first. If you can get this down to 3,2000mg per day for a couple of weeks then you can go for reducing it further and strive for 3,000mg per day.
Think of it more as the drip approach. If you can make very small but continual improvements you will be able to solidify new habits. Drip, drip, drip… There will be some setbacks in reducing your daily amount of sodium. Don’t beat yourself up over these. Expect them, acknowledge them and move on.
We’ll continue to add sodium information to each of our new recipes (and will also be adding this to any of our seasoning blends that do contain salt) so that if you’re interested in reducing your daily sodium intake at least you’ll know how much is in each recipe or seasoning blend.
And if you’re looking for more on taming your salt intake this is an excellent resource from the Mayo Clinic.
Smart Sugar and Salt Substitutions
How to Avoid High Sodium When You Eat Out
Living with Low Sodium Tips
Low Sodium Diet