It can be hard to know whether you’re staying within recommended guidelines or blowing past them unless you know how much sodium has made its way into your food (whether it’s naturally-occurring or added).
Did you know that a fast food sandwich or burger can easily have more than 100 percent of the sodium you need in a day? If you’re like the average American, you’re getting way more sodium than your body needs.
Why keep track of the sodium you’re eating?
Sodium can be sneaky, showing up in a vast majority of the foods we eat every day even if we never pick up the salt shaker. It slinks into soups and sandwiches and cozies up to cold cuts and cured meats. It plants itself in your favorite pizza and poultry and burrows into breads and rolls. Even salads can pack a significant sodium punch. All this sodium can add up fast.
Sodium can affect your health and should be on your radar – so what can you do?
How do you keep track of the sodium you’re eating?
An easy way to keep tabs on how much sodium you eat is by using our sodium tracker. Jot down what you eat — that blueberry muffin for breakfast, or the garlic bread with last night’s spaghetti — and the accompanying sodium stats.
The sodium content of most foods is readily available. The nutrition facts label on packaged food is required to list the milligrams of sodium per serving – remember to multiply by that number by the number of servings you eat. There are even smartphone apps that calculate the nutrition information of the recipes you make from scratch for easy tracking.
Restaurant foods often have nutrition information listed on their websites. And remember: sodium levels can vary in the same foods, depending on the brand or restaurant.
At the end of the day it’s easy to tally how much sodium you ate so you can make better choices if needed. Sometimes a small adjustment can bring big results when it comes to your health! The American Heart Association has the Sodium 411 to help you stay on track.
Share your tips for tracking your sodium in the comments!