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How to Decrease Sodium in Your Diet

Too much sodium is bad news for your heart -- and most of us average 3,400 mg a day. The maximum recommended amount is 2,300 mg! The good news? You can retrain your taste buds to adapt to less salt. Ellie Krieger, R.D., author of So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Day of the Week, offers these flavorful tips:

Don't cut out all salt! That's right, you get to keep some salt in your diet, or your taste buds would rebel. The goal is to reduce salt intake, not torture your palate.

Season with herbs, spices, and aromatic vegetables like onions, garlic, and leeks.

Squeeze in some citrus. Fruits such as limes, lemons, and oranges satisfy some of the salt receptors on your tongue, allowing you to use less salt without noticing.

Choose organic versions of processed foods if you can't find a reduced-sodium version of your favorite brand. Many organic versions are low in sodium and high on flavor.

Use the "double the calories" rule of thumb. Steer clear of products that have more milligrams of sodium than twice the number of calories -- so, a 200-calorie burrito shouldn't have more than 400 mg of sodium.