When you need to satisfy between-meal munchies, do you automatically reach for a salty snack? For many of us it’s the bags of pretzels and potato chips that call our name from the vending machine midafternoon. But the snack favorites tend to be high in sodium, a mineral that we should be limiting in our diets.
According to the National Dietary Guidelines for Americans, everyone should aim to consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of salt daily for better health. The American Heart Association recommends an even lower number — less than 1500 mg — to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. For most people, processed foods (like deli meat, tortillas, and canned goods), rather than excessive use of the salt shaker are to blame for exceeding these recommendations.
To cut back on excess salt, try reaching for one of these tasty snacks that deliver in taste without all the sodium.
Apple and Peanut Butter
“All whole fruit is naturally low in salt, and in fact, fruits in general are high in potassium, which may help balance out the negative effects of sodium on health,” says blogger and registered dietitian Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends pairing a tablespoon of low-salt or salt-free nut butter with a sliced medium apple for a snack that’s less than 200 calories.