Our body needs less than one gram of sodium a day. That’s less than half a teaspoon of table salt. But like most Americans, you can consume up to four times that amount. What’s the result? You’ll have increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
For sugar, a lot of us consume more than twice the recommended daily amount that increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and even depression.
It’s an endless cycle: indulging your salt and sugar cravings can end up with you just wanting more. It’s hard to cut back once our taste buds get used to sugary or salty foods. Cutting back on these addictive ingredients is important since most of us are eating more than the recommended daily values for sugar and salt.
There are people that you can put in the over-salted group. Whether it’s a stir-fry or chips and salsa, you can still find yourself craving salty foods all the time. However, you can try to cut back on sodium intake and you’ll realize just how hard it can be.
In reducing sugar and salt, the doctors at Harvard Medical School will give you the know-how to successfully monitor and effectively control the amount of sugar and salt you and your family take in each day.
There are foods exposed with “hidden” sodium and sugar. For example, a tuna salad sub sandwich can have up to 1,300 milligrams of sodium, which is more than the daily recommendation, while a bowl of raisin bran delivers 19 grams of added sugar.
There are ways to cut your cravings on salt and sugar.
Don’t eat out as much
You know exactly what’s going into a meal cooking at home and that includes how many extra spoonfuls of sugar and salt. On the other hand, restaurants are notorious for loading up dishes with salt or sugar-laden sauces, so try to limit the amount of times you eat out if you’re worried about your salt and sugar intake.
Replace foods with less sugary or salty options
If you’re encouraging your salty or sugary diet down to acceptable levels, replacing your normal diet with a lower-sodium or less-sweet one can be a shock to your taste buds. You should try switching out a daily dessert with a small piece of chocolate or fruit, or use spices instead of salt to flavor your foods.
Severe cravings can mean a larger issue is at play, like a mineral imbalance or other condition, so if you feel like your cravings can’t be explained by your diet, you may want to talk to your doctor. You should also keep track if you’re getting the right nutrients as well and it may turn out that you are dehydrated or aren’t eating as many nutrients as you need to.
Reducing salt and sugar also gives you a host of flavorful recipes that minimize or eliminate sugar and salt, from delectable breakfast treats to wholesome lunches and dinners, not to mention perfect-ending desserts and even late-night snacks.
You have to be good to your body and yourself.