Most of the time while enjoying a meal, we never really pay much attention to the salt that we add to our food.  It's more of a habit than a requirement.  For this, you could easily say that if you were brought up in a household that was accustomed to using a lot of salt in dishes, there's a pretty good chance that you follow the same habit.

While salt is used widely in cooking, the need to add extra salt can eventually cause problems for many people, especially those that are overweight or suffer from any medical conditions.  Salt has been linked to high blood pressure, stomach and digestive problems, as well as one of the most popular symptoms, water retention.

Of course, unless you have a serious medical condition that expressly prohibits the consumption of salt in your foods, cutting down on your salt intake can be difficult.  One problem is that many people do not even realize that much of your daily salt requirements are already in the foods that you eat. 

A  key to limiting the amount of salt you consume each day is simply by knowing the ingredients and foods that you eat. 

For instance, if you add seasoning that is packaged, check the nutrition labels as there could easily be enough salt.  Until you can learn more and adjust to using less salt in your meals, use only half the package or even half the requirement.

Don't assume that foods are generally healthy for you just because the label says something like “reduced sodium” or “low sodium”.  Food manufacturers know that adding salt helps with taste and of course, with sales. 

Ask yourself, where does most of your salt intake come from?  If you are one that eats out frequently, you can bet that's where most of your salt is coming from.  Also, consider the amount of prepackaged foods that you buy each week.  Check the nutrition labels for the amount of sodium in each serving and notice how much is in each product.

Popular foods such as mayonnaise, packaged meats, salad dressings, frozen entrees, bakery products, sweets, puddings and even your favorite sodas, all have added sodium.

After years of adding soy sauce to most of my meals, especially when I was eating rice, I never realized how much sodium was in soy sauce until a few months ago.  One tbsp alone of soy sauce has over 1,000 milligrams of sodium.  I can't even begin to tell you how much soy sauce I was adding to my meals or dishes each day over the years.

Take a quick look at what you eat and the amount of salt that is in your meals.  Learn how to prepare and cook more using spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits that can add alternative ways for you and your family to enjoy your meals.