Low Sodium Diet: Step in right the direction

Low Sodium Diet: step in the right direction

Low Sodium Diet Step in right the direction

Calm down. There’s no reason to scare. You’ve decided to start eating a low sodium diet. Maybe your doctor advises that you should. Maybe your spouse is insistent. Maybe you’ve realized your health is your most valuable asset in life, and having high blood pressure just isn’t worth chowing down on a large order of French Fries.

Adopt low sodium eating habits

Whatever the reason for this lifestyle change, realize that you’re stepping in the right direction. It’s entirely possible to adopt low sodium eating habits and still take pleasure in food. Between 2000 and 2500 milligrams. To put that in perspective, according to the Heart Failure Society of America, to adhere to a low sodium diet you’ll want to consume between 1500 to 2400 milligrams of sodium a day. That’s right. Less than a teaspoon. While this may seem impossible initially, with a bit of reading, you’ll find many foods that are delicious without adding salt. Remember, most foods contain trace amounts of sodium on their own.
What’s more, avoiding sodium will help eliminate processed foods from your diet. You’ll consume nutrients and vitamins in their natural states, the way your evolutionary ancestors did before the invention of microwaves and TV trays.
This first one is obvious. Also steer clear of most pre-bottled salad dressings and bottled sauces like ketchup
If you’re seeking advice on a low-sodium diet, chances are you’re going to want to avoid high levels of cholesterol as well. Cutting out cheese is a double whammy as it’s packed to the gills with both.

Save your blood pressure and your waistline.

Those bags of chips are full of empty calories. Avoid them and save your blood pressure and your waistline. You’ll want to avoid processed foods as much as you can. Be wary of anything in a can. Remember, if it takes years to go bad, it’s being preserved by something. And that’s usually salt.
These foods should make up the bulk of anyone’s diet. Packed full of nutrients and fiber, fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium. Follow the fresher is a better rule. Buy frozen if you must, but make sure it’s a low sodium product. Try to avoid canned veggies, but if you do buy them, rinse them off when you take them from the can. This significantly reduces sodium content.
Protein is essential to a healthy diet. Luckily, a moderate amount of fresh meat and fish is perfectly acceptable on a low sodium diet. Fresher is better applies here as well and you can also rinse away sodium from canned tuna. Moderate egg consumption is also allowed.
That’s right. Even a treat like ice cream is low enough in sodium to make it an acceptable occasional treat. See, it’s not all bad news after all.
Filling and nutritious carbohydrates. Just remember not to season them with salt!
Nuts are densely packed with protein, healthy fats, and nutrients. Again, take care not to purchase the salted versions.
There are low sodium versions of many of your favorite products. Look at them and check whether they meet your requirements. Additionally, if your favorite recipe calls for salt, simply leave it out and see what happens. You might be surprised by how good the result tastes.

Is salt really that delicious?

Or are have you been conditioned to believe it’s delicious?  The fact is, the foods that you consider tasty usually taste so good simply because of habit. You can definitely retrain your taste buds. After a few weeks of eating a low sodium diet, you’ll begin to desire healthful foods like you used to desire salted pretzels.
You can ease yourself into this transition. Set a low sodium goal and give yourself a week to reach it. On the first day, allow yourself three teaspoons of salt to season your daily intake of food. On the second, cut it down to two-and-a-half. And so on. Eventually, get rid of salt altogether and only consume the trace amounts of sodium found in foods naturally.
The exciting thing about ditching salt as your primary spice is that it allows you to start sampling the multitude of ingredients at your disposal. Garlic and onion can turn almost anything into a gourmet meal. Dried herbs and spices add a variety of exotic flavors. Squeeze a little lemon or lime into a dish to add a bit of acidity to a dry dish.
Some of these are obvious. Trade in your salted butter for unsalted. Toss out ketchup and learn to love Tobasco sauce. Learn to be creative. Instead of a bottled salad dressing, mix up your own in a bowl with some olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice. It will taste better too!

Sodium is hiding everywhere.

Those mystifying graphs on the back of every food product? They will become your new best friends. Spend an afternoon reading over the labels of items in your local grocery store. With practice, it will become second nature.
Carry a small packet of your favorite low-sodium condiment in the glove box of your car. You can request unsalted meals when you dine out and then pull out your bottle of Tabasco from your purse. Don’t let your low sodium lifestyle prevent you from going out and enjoying life.

Kicking your salt habit is easier than you think. After a month you won’t even miss it.

See also:  Cardio

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