Health and Fitness By Claire Henderson / September 11, 2014 For many years, many health experts and fitness gurus have said to people, lessen your salt consumption because of its negative effect on their health. Why? Because too much salt can trigger an increase in blood pressure, which is a risk factor that can lead to heart attacks and strokes – a major cause of many deaths due to poor eating habits. These poor food choices result from many processed foods found in the grocery store as well as at fast food restaurants that have been found to contain high amounts of sodium. Although salt may not be the main cause for a person to become obese, it can be a culprit to temporary weight gain. A vast majority of women already have a bad relationship with the weighing scale; gaining weight due to water retention all because you’ve consumed too many salty foods can make matters even worse. If you are a woman who wants to achieve a low-sodium lifestyle without sabotaging the taste and quality of your foods, then here are a few tips on how to lessen your salt consumption for better health. Experiment with Herbs and Spices When you lessen your salt consumption, it can be very adventurous and exciting for your palette because this new lifestyle allows you to experiment cooking with different herbs and spices. Adding herbs and spices into your food preparation can help enhance its flavors. Herbs, whether fresh or dried, can truly bring out the natural flavors of meats, fishes, as well as vegetables. There are plenty of herbs, spices, as well as salt substitutes (a low salt alternative that is composed of various herbs and spices) that are available on the market. With these taste-enhancing herbs and spices, you’ll realize that food in its natural, simple state can be very tasty and good for your body. Read food labels Reading food labels is very important if you really want to monitor your food choices because food labels tell you what you are putting in your body. The amount of sodium in a food product is indicated in the nutrition facts – knowing the amount can help you decide whether you should purchase the product or not or how much you can consume without going over your daily limit. Since the recommended sodium intake is about 2,000 milligrams per day, it is best to keep track of how much we put in our bodies so that we can prevent any future health problems due to high sodium in our diets. Adapt Gradually Getting used to the low salt taste of foods may take some time for your palette to fully enjoy eating its taste. You should consider introducing the new low-in-sodium foods gradually in order for your taste buds to savor each flavor and appreciate its natural taste minus the sodium. Sooner or later, when you become well adapted to your low sodium diet, your taste buds will disregard any other foods that have high salt content because it will not like its taste. Once you train yourself to eat healthier food choices, your body will later adapt to it, and before you know it, making good food choices will become a natural part of your daily living. We’re not saying salt should be completely banned in your diet because, believe it or not, salt is an essential part of your daily living and contributes to proper functioning of muscles and other parts of the body. We all need sodium in our bodies but only to a certain amount, which is why moderation is the key. Remember, a little salt will go a long way, so lessen your salt consumption and reap the benefits of a low sodium way of life.