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Many medical experts, researchers and doctors across the world have found that a diet high in sodium contributes to a number of health risks, including high blood pressure.

Over 70 percent of a person's salt intake is derived from processed foods, so skipping that sprinkling of salt at dinner is not a sufficient way to cut the salt in your diet. One way to prevent sodium from entering your kitchen and your body is to keep your eyes open at the food source itself, the grocery store.

Always read the label; salt is a substance with many different names. So even if you make the extra effort to read food labels and search for the amount of salt in the product, it can be difficult to determine. The following list contains a few of salt's aliases: sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, sodium benzoate, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrate and disodium. Other products with a large sodium content include hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy sauce, miso and brine.

Avoid processed foods in the grocery store and head directly to the fresh fruit and vegetable aisle instead. Rather than adding salt to these fresh food items while cooking, use salt alternatives.

If you do buy canned vegetables, rinsing them in water for one minute can reduce their sodium content by 40 percent. Also, it is important to resist the temptation of fast food, which also usually has a high salt content.

Consulting with your physician is the best and safest ways to address high blood pressure and the treatment of other health concerns. But by taking the initiative to start eating a healthier diet, you begin taking responsibility for your own health and well-being.


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