Replace the High with the Healthy

Manufacturers are tapping into people's interest in reducing sodium and producing many new products with less salt. Look around your grocery store for new options for old favorites and staples. If your usual store doesn't carry low-sodium alternatives, ask your store manager to start stocking them. If you don't get results, try shopping at a store that does.

Sodium content also varies widely from brand to brand. Shrimp is a good example of this variability: the sodium content in frozen packaged shrimp can differ tremendously, depending on the brand. By shopping at a different store than her usual one, Christy finds a brand of frozen shrimp that is processed with three-quarters less salt than the brand she has been buying. Although Christy can replace many of her staple items with commercial low-sodium products, she can also make her own from-scratch versions instead. It's quick and easy to prepare many typically high-sodium sauces, such as cocktail sauce, without adding the high amount of salt found in most processed versions. With these two changes, Christy can transform her sodium-laden shrimp cocktail into a much healthier, much lower sodium, still flavorful dish.

Christy has taken advantage of the obvious savings to be found by simply replacing high-sodium products, in several ways. As illustrated below, she has switched products, going from garlic salt to garlic powder or fresh garlic, and she has switched from regular varieties of products to those with less sodium. You don't have to stick with products labeled “low-salt” or “reduced-salt,” either; some brands are just lower in sodium than their counterparts. In addition to these examples, here are some other easy ways to save sodium:






garlic salt at 240 per ¼ tsp, 4 × per week

 garlic powder or fresh garlic at 0 mg



soy sauce at 1,000 mg per 1 tbsp, 2 × per week

 lower-sodium brand at 550 mg



chicken broth at 860 mg per 1 cup, 2 × per week

 lower-sodium brand (33% reduced) at 570 mg



shrimp at 805 mg per 3 oz cooked, 2 × per month

 shrimp without added brine at 225 mg



black beans at 460 per ½ cup, 1 × per week

 lower-sodium brand at 210 mg



cocktail sauce at 760 mg per ¼ cup, 2 × per month

 Cocktail Sauce at 350 mg per ¼ cup



*Sodium values have been rounded to the nearest 5 mg.

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