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It's World Salt Awareness Week: Here's how I cut down

It's World Salt Awareness Week. Do you know what too much sodium in your diet can do?

Osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney disease, stroke, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure.

Not to mention ugly bloating and those salt-overdose headaches and cotton mouth.

Nosaltlentilsoup Added sodium is everywhere in processed foods -- even foods you might not realize. An innocent cup of lowfat cottage cheese has a ridiculous 760 milligrams of sodium. Most canned soups, even the "healthy" stuff, can eat up half your recommended sodium for the day if you eat the entire can -- which most people do for lunch.

Want to cut soup sodium? Here's my hard-core way. Short of making my own soup, I sometimes buy Healthy Valley Organic No Salt Added soups. An entire can of the NSA black bean soup has 60 milligrams of naturally occurring sodium. Their lentil soup has 50 milligrams per can.

I'm not going to sugarsalt-coat it: The soup tastes like organic baby food. So I add a teaspoon of Frank's Red Hot sauce. A teaspoon has 200 milligrams of sodium, which is still far less than a can of regular soup. You get some sodium plus the zing of hot sauce. You also get a slight metabolic charge from the chili peppers.

Once that's in, the soups are filling and loaded with fiber and protein. One can of the lentil has 16 grams each of fiber and protein.