Healthy Living March Monthly Theme

Tips and Tricks to Reduce Your Sugar and Salt Intake

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Many Americans consume more than the recommended levels of sugar and salt, each of which can have a devastating impact on your health. Support among residents and team members for achieving health goals is an everyday value at Caraday – it’s the Caraday Way!

We support our residents “by encouraging them to do what it is that they want, so that you can achieve and succeed.”
Elizabeth Cooper
Caraday of Lampasas

Many Americans consume more than the recommended levels of sugar and salt, each of which can have a devastating impact on your health. Too much sugar can cause insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes. Salt can cause water gain and high blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.

Consider some of these suggestions to retrain your palate and reduce your intake.

Let’s talk about sugar:

Let your taste buds adjust. Sometimes a sweet tooth calls out for more sugar. You may not even realize how much sugar you’re adding to your tea or coffee. Monitor your intake and make conscious choices to drink water instead of sugary drinks. Only add sugar to warm drinks once or twice a week. In time, your taste will adjust.

Try sugar-free or sugar alternatives. Adapt recipes by using less sugar, searching for sugar-free recipes, or switching out sugar with other options like honey, natural syrup, and fruit purées. Many online recipes offer low-sugar or sugar-free treats that still satisfy your cravings.

Check your food containers. Many packaged foods like cereals, granola bars, and yogurt have lots of added sugar. Even if the item claims it’s all-natural or made with natural ingredients, there can be extra sugar, making it less healthy than you thought. Check food packaging and choose low-sugar options. Also, consider switching out juices—known to be high in sugar—with fruit or flavored water.

Let’s talk about salt:

Avoid processed foods. The best way to reduce your salt intake is to eat mostly fresh foods instead of packaged or processed items. Frozen meals and canned soups are two culprits that make eating convenient but overload your salt intake. Preparing your own meals and choosing fresh food can help reduce your salt consumption.

Watch out for condiments. Condiments and sauces have a lot of sodium. Even if you think you’re making healthy choices by eating a salad, it can quickly turn into a sodium-rich meal with high-salt condiments. Make your own condiments or be sure to look for low-sodium options.

Try other spices for flavor. There are many spices that can flavor meals and reduce your salt intake. Herbs and spices such as basil, cumin, oregano, sage, thyme, and rosemary add delicious flavor to food without using salt. Experiment—maybe you’ll discover that like something new!

Reducing your sugar and salt intake can have extremely positive effects on your health. It may take time, but by following some of these tips, you won’t reach for the sugar or salt as often. Bon appetit!