Tips to Reduce Your Sodium Intake, Plus a recipe for a healthy easy side dish

March 7, 2019

Roasted Rainbow Carrots Recipe by Providence Health

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian, Providence Health

Click here for a printable download.

Most of us know that eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.  Did you know it could also lead to kidney issues including kidney stones? Did you know on average we eat more than 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day….more than double the 1,500 mg suggested by the American Heart Association?

According to the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) statistics about where the sodium comes from: 65 % comes from food bought in retail stores, 25% from restaurants, 10.5% comes from home cooking and at the table.  Pretty surprising that the largest portion of our sodium intake comes from our groceries to make eating faster or more convenient! Guess the message is that we need to get aback to cooking when possible and try to limit the convenient foods we purchase to make getting the meal on the table faster after we get home from work, taxi driving and all the business of the day.

The American Heart Association has a list of the “Salty Six”, those foods that contribute the most salt to our diet:

  • Bread & rolls
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Cold cuts & cured meats
  • Soup
  • Burritos& tacos

So if those foods are on your menu frequently maybe we might need to make a few changes.

Think about these suggestions when you are reading those labels at the grocery store:

  • Light in sodium = at least 50% less sodium than the regular product
  • Reduced sodium = at least 25% less sodium than the regular product
  • Low sodium = 140 mg of sodium or less per serving
  • Very low sodium = 35 mg of sodium or less per serving
  • Salt/sodium-free= less than 5 mg sodium per serving
  • No salt added/unsalted = No salt is added during processing, but the product sill may contain some sodium

PS:  Choose wisely when you choosing one of the “Salty Six,” and look for ways to have less salt in your choices.

Try this easy and quick way to cook at home more often in your journey to decreasing your sodium intake.  Choose fresh or frozen veggies for a start, try to limit or avoid the canned option.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Ginger


  • 2 pounds rainbow carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 425◦F .In a large bowl, combine carrots, 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, pepper and ginger.  Toss to evenly coat.  Place carrots on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast for 30-35 minutes or until caramelized and tender, stirring once halfway through. Drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of oil, add cilantro, carefully toss and serve.

Nutrition Information: 82 calories, .5 gm fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 198 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein

Recipe source: Skinny Taste by Gina Homolka


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.