Change Your Salty Ways

Diets high in sodium are linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.  And nine out of ten Americans are consuming too much sodium.  Learn from Austin Hy-Vee Dietitian, Jen Haugen, on ways to change your salty ways to lower your risk.
Where is your sodium coming from?
  • 10% of the sodium we consume is from home cooking and at the table.
  • 25% of sodium comes from restaurant meals.
  • 65% of sodium comes from food bought in retail stores (grocery and convenience).
Change your salty ways:
  • Don’t be fooled by the different types of salt – they all contain large amounts of sodium. Table salt contains approximately 2,325 mg per teaspoon.  Sea salts and kosher salts contain approximately 2,000 mg per teaspoon.
  • Instead - use herbs and spices to flavor foods.  Try fresh or dried herbs of all kinds, spices, vinegar and citrus to season your food instead of the salt shaker.   In fact, using citrus and vinegar really gives a salty taste without any sodium.  
  • Choose low- or no-sodium canned foods.  You can now find no-salt-added canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, canned peas, corn and green beans.   Use them in recipes where then you can control how much sodium is added later.
  • On store shelves, look for foods with less than 200 mg per sodium per serving, yet keep in mind the goal for a meal would be 500-600 mg of sodium.  Check the low-sodium listing on for a full listing of products that are less than 140 mg per serving.
  • Be alert of the “Salty Six” and look for lower sodium alternatives.  The “Salty Six” includes breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup and sandwiches.
Reduced-Sodium Vegetable Flatbread Pizza
Serves 5.
1 (6.5 ounce) pizza crust mix
½ cup pizza sauce
1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups chopped spinach
¼ cup chopped basil leaves
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Prepare pizza crust according to directions for THIN crust.
  3. Spread sauce over dough and top with cheese, spinach, basil, tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic.
  4. Bake for 12-17 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
For more information on sodium and low-sodium recipes: 
American Heart Association
Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.  Jen is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the leading nutrition professional organization in the country.