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Why is eating fresh foods important if I need to reduce my salt intake?

Jonny Bowden
Nutrition & Dietetics
Because processed/prepared foods are overwhelmingly the number one source of sodium in the diet. Sodium intake is not just about how much salt you add to your food -- that's the least of it. It's the high amount of sodium in your deli foods, canned soups, packaged meals, and just about everything at a chain or fast food restaurant. When more of your diet comes from actual, real, fresh foods -- preferably prepared at home -- that means that less of your diet comes from food that was prepared FOR you (i.e. convenience foods, packaged dinners, canned foods, boxed foods) and that means you'll automatically be taking in way less sodium.

 
Melissa Stinson, NP
Nephrology
If you need to reduce your salt intake, buy fresh foods as often as possible. Typically, fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are low in sodium and healthier for your heart. Also, cooking from scratch can help you reduce your sodium intake while preventing you from eating prepared foods and frozen dinners. Although premade meals are an easier option if you have a busy schedule, the high salt content can make your blood pressure higher and produce more strain on your heart over the years.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.