Tips to Manage Sodium Intake

COVID-19 has made staying healthy incredibly important – not just for our physical well-being, but for our mental health as well. There’s a lot we’re worrying about, like our friends, our family, and our own health and well-being. It’s not easy to cope with the stresses of the pandemic. It’s vital to remember that taking care of our body is a major part of self-care. 

Sodium is a mineral that is essential for life. It plays a key role in water balance, muscle contraction, and nerve conduction in the body. However, consuming excessive amounts of sodium can put us at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, which can also put us at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Unfortunately, stress can often cause us to choose unhealthy foods, which tend to be higher in sodium. And, the changes in food availability due to the pandemic can lead to consuming more canned or packaged foods which can also be higher in sodium. However, there are small changes we can make to limit our sodium intake and stay mentally and physically healthy during these challenging times.  

Good nutrition is important for health, especially when our immune system might need to fight against COVID-19. You can start by moderating sodium intake in your daily diet to maintain a healthy life!

Here are some tips to help you reduce your sodium intake:

  • Cook with a measured amount of salt – it is recommended to add throughout cooking rather than just at the end to reduce sodium. You can also use a measuring spoon to add salt.
  • Using high salt foods as ingredients – things like pickles, olives, capers, smoked salmon, and ham… add these foods before adjusting salt while cooking!
  • Highlighting natural flavors – Herbs, spices and other distinctive flavoring agents allow moderation of salt while enhancing flavors of main ingredients. 

Here are few resources you may find useful when cutting your sodium intake:

https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/technical-guidance/food-and-nutrition-tips-during-self-quarantine

https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/easy-affordable-and-healthy-eating-tips-during-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/coronavirus

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