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Lower your sodium and change your salty ways in 21 Days: Week 3

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Salty Six infographic 5 and 6A Focus on Soup and Sandwiches

Congratulations! You made it to the last week of our January challenge: Change your Salty Ways in 21 Days. For three weeks this month, we encouraged you to check your salt habit by choosing wisely, reading nutrition labels, and watching your portions. And, we’ve been getting to know the salty six—common foods that may be loaded with excess sodium.

Have you felt a transformation? With this challenge, we hope you have:
• Transformed your taste buds
• Found (and enjoyed!) foods with more moderate levels of sodium
Reduced bloating

On this final week 3 of the challenge, we’ll explore soup and sandwiches. With facts, strategies, and tips, we’ll help you choose soups and build sandwiches with more moderate levels of sodium.

Soups

Sodium in one cup of canned soup can range from 100 to as much as 940 milligrams—more than half the recommended daily intake. The good news is that there are many different options for you to choose from.

Use the Nutrition Facts label to find lower-sodium varieties of soup. The amount of sodium per serving is listed in milligrams, abbreviated “mg.” Remember that if you eat two servings of a food, you are getting twice the amount of sodium shown on the label.

Make a big batch of homemade soup by following the tips from challenge week 2. You can even freeze the leftovers for a future meal. When you prepare your food at home you have more control over the amount of sodium in it compared to the ready-to-eat foods you buy in stores or restaurants.

Adding plain frozen veggies to a lower-sodium variety of canned soup is another way to incorporate more veggies with less sodium per serving.

Sandwiches

A sandwich or burger from a fast food restaurant can contain more than 100 percent of your daily dietary sodium limit when you make or order a sandwich.

Try eating a half sandwich with a side salad and a lower-sodium dressing. When you cut calories, you usually cut the sodium too.

Replace some of the meat, cheese, and condiments in sandwiches with fruits and vegetables. Most fruits and veggies are naturally low in sodium. You can try avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, or even sliced apple. The possibilities are endless!

Build a better sandwich by choosing your ingredients wisely. Some ingredients can vary widely in sodium content—so check the Nutrition Facts label. Check out this graphic from the CDC. The left side describes a sandwich made with common ingredients of bread, cheese, meat and mustard with sodium levels totaling 1,522 mg! By simply making some lower-sodium choices, like the sandwich on the right with the same ingredients in lower-sodium versions, you can reduce the sodium by almost half the original amount.

Well, that about sums it up! Thank you for joining us this month for our January challenge: Change your Salty Ways in 21 Days. For three weeks this month, we encouraged you to check your salt habit by choosing wisely, reading nutrition labels, and watching your portions. And, we’ve been getting to know the salty six—common foods that may be loaded with excess sodium. Need a refresher? Read this month’s posts below:

• Lower your sodium and change your salty ways in 21 Days: Week 1
• Lower your sodium and change your salty ways in 21 Days: Week 2

 

What surprised you the most about this challenge? Let us know in the comments.