Down With Sodium and Hurray for Flavorful Snacks!
It is a well-known fact that many people eat way too much salt. It’s everywhere especially in restaurants and in pre-prepared foods. According to the American Heart Association, it is vital to stay at roughly 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Other health services state less than 2,500 mg, but we’ll go with the AHA’s recommendation.
If that is the case, then how can you find low sodium snacks that are also heart healthy? They are so hard to find and even low sodium foods can have high sodium!
Why is too Much Salt a Bad Thing?
The body needs sodium. Without it in our bodies, our nerves begin to shut down and the human brain begins to have issues working.
There is a laundry list of side effects and potential diseases that can affect the body if the daily sodium intake is constantly too high. There’s the short term bloat, swelling, and inflammation; and then the long term heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, hypertension and kidney stones … and that’s the short list.
It doesn’t matter who you are: if you consume too much salt, there will be a side effect or two.
If that isn’t concerning enough, eating too much sodium can cause the body to add water to the circulatory system. The excess water causes water retention and increases blood volume to dangerous levels: this is why you feel thirsty when eating salty snacks. When blood levels are chronically high, this causes stress on the veins, arteries, and organs connected to the circulatory system which includes the kidneys.
How to Reduce Your Daily Sodium Intake
The fastest way to reduce daily sodium intake is to stick to low sodium snacks, foods, and unsalted variations of go-to snacks. Mass produced low-sodium options can still be full of salt. This is the reason why we have our Unsalted Sweet Potato Kettle Chips: healthier options, healthier ingredients, heroic snacks!
Other than religiously reading nutrition labels, here are a few pointers on how to reduce your daily sodium intake:
- Anything that is pickled, brined, barbecued, cured, smoked, and more is going to have higher sodium content.
- Ask for no salt or no added salt at restaurants.
- Ask for the nutrition facts at chain restaurants.
- Buy veggies that don’t have salty sauces included.
- Check the sodium levels on all packaged foods.
- Check your condiments and go for low or reduced salat versions.
- Cook pastas, rice, and hot cereal without salt.
- Cook your food in a variety of ways to bring out natural flavors.
- Drain and rinse canned beans: most of the sodium is in the liquid!
- Eat foods with higher potassium levels.
- Look for unsalted canned vegetables.
- Pick fresh and frozen meats without sodium solution.
- Reduce sodium by combining low/no sodium food with regular food.
- Season your food with anything from garlic to citrus.
- Stick with portion control.
- Taste before adding salt.
Another great way to reduce your sodium intake is to take a peep at the snacks we’ve collected below!
Low Sodium Snack Recipes
If you are on a low sodium diet, or you want to reduce your daily sodium intake, there are several snacks that you can quickly make and add to your meal plan.
Fruits and Vegetables - Naturally Low Sodium
Whole fruits and veggies are always a great low sodium snack.
- Clementines or oranges
- Pineapple chunks
Quick Homemade Low Sodium Snacks
These quick snacks can be prepared ahead of time or made in fifteen minutes.
- Avocado Toast
- Apple and Peanut Butter
- Ants on a Log
- Yogurt Parfait
- Homemade Popcorn
- Dates and Nut Butter
Prepared Low Sodium Snacks
Pre-prepared snacks are great to have in the refrigerator or pantry.
- Veggies and Greek Yogurt Dip
- Homemade trail mix
- Kale Chips
- Homemade hummus and Veggies
- Oven-Dried Tomatoes
- Fruit and Veggie Smoothies
- Overnight Oats
- Dried unsalted edamame
- Unsalted nuts
- Unsalted Sweet Potato Chips
Conclusion - Low Sodium Snacks
The best snack you can grab, in our opinion, is Jackson’s Unsalted Sweet Potato Kettle Chips. Unlike low-sodium foods or reduced-sodium foods, our chips boast exactly 0mg of sodium! Instead, the flavor in our chips comes directly from ancestral coconut oil and nutrient dense sweet potatoes.
Since salt can cause so much inflammation when eaten in excess, we decided long ago to have an unsalted version of our delicious chips. Not only can you snack on the several items we gave above, but you can also add our chips to any meal be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Check out our recipes here to get your creativity flowing!