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What Is Considered Low Sodium Diet

Preparing Your Own Meals

What is a Low Sodium Diet?

Anytime you prepare your own meals, you have the ability to control the amount of sodium-rich ingredients you use. As such, it is advantageous to prepare your own meals when on a low sodium diet so you can better limit the amount of salt and other high-sodium ingredients you eat. When preparing your own foods, limit the amount of table salt, flavored salts, such as garlic salt and onion salt, sauces and canned products. Instead, get creative and try flavoring your foods with spices and herbs such as cinnamon, basil, parsley and cilantro.

How A Low Sodium Diet Benefits The Body

Consuming too much sodium can lead to excess sodium in a persons blood. Sodium draws water into the bloodstream, resulting in a higher blood volume. This increased blood volume triggers a rise in blood pressure, which doctors refer to as hypertension.

According to the

A low sodium diet may be beneficial for people with certain health conditions. We have outlined some examples below.

What Is Sodium Role Of Sodium In Body

Sodium is an important nutrient in the body because it helps your nerves and muscles function properly. It maintains blood volume and blood pressure, and its involved in fluid balance in the body.

According to research published the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the amount of sodium needed to maintain homeostasis in adults is about 500 milligrams a day or less, which is exceedingly low compared to the average intake of sodium for most Americans, which is more than 3,200 milligrams.

The top sodium food is table salt. Salt is an ionic compounds that is composed of sodium chloride, which is 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride. According to the University of California San Francisco, the average American eats five or more teaspoons of salt every day, which is about 20 times more than the body needs. Your body really needs about ¼ teaspoon of salt per day.

So you may be wondering how to reduce your salt intake to just ¼ teaspoon when youre so used to eating salty foods. Bringing low sodium foods into your diet can be extremely helpful, and so can dropping the packaged foods that are loaded with salt.

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Is There A Salt That Is Low In Sodium

The most widely available and used product is Lo Salt. Potassium salts have up to 70% less sodium than standard table salt so do not carry the same high risks as sodium based salts. Potassium salts may even have a beneficial effect on your blood pressure because potassium is an antagonist of sodium.

Why You Want Low Sodium Foods

Top 15 Low

There can be many health-related dangers from eating high sodium foods too often. In fact, high sodium can negatively affect several parts of the body, like your heart, kidneys and brain. Too much sodium may lead to high blood pressure and cause fluid retention, leading to swelling in your legs and feet. It can strain and damage your kidneys, reducing their ability to filter toxic wastes from the body.

When your blood pressure is raised because of excess sodium levels in the body, this also strains your arteries, heart and brain, making you more susceptible to health conditions like heart attack and dementia. The World Health Organization strongly recommends that people reduce their dietary salt intake as one of the top priority actions to decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Over 70 percent of sodium in a persons diet comes from processed foods. Eating a diet high in processed foods is problematic alone, despite what it does to your sodium levels. Processed foods are made with refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, hidden salt and sugar, and artificial ingredients.

It isnt the sodium thats added in food preparation or at the kitchen table that contributes so much to high sodium levels in the body, but restaurants are way more likely to have saltier foods. And in the last few decades, more and more people are eating out often.

To limit the amount of sodium in your diet, try the following dietary changes:

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Make More Meals At Home

According to research, foods eaten outside of the home are the leading contributor to sodium intake.

A study in 450 adults from different geographic areas found that commercial and restaurant foods eaten outside of the home accounted for 70.9% of total sodium intake .

One of the best ways to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet is to control what goes into your food by cooking at home.

Eating more meals at home will not only reduce your sodium intake but can also help you lose weight.

A study in more than 11,000 adults found that those who cooked meals at home more frequently had lower body fat and better overall diet quality than people who ate fewer meals at home .


Using fresh herbs, spices and citrus to flavor food and cooking more meals at home are helpful tips if youre following a low-sodium diet.

How Does Excess Sodium Affect The Body

Sodium pulls water into our blood vessels, increasing the amount of blood flowing through our veins which may raise blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can stretch our arteries and accumulate plaque, which can block blood flow.

As a result, high blood pressure, also known as the silent killer, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first- and fifth-leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.

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Asian Sesame Fusion Salad With Grilled Chicken

For those who want a more balanced meal at McDonalds, the Asian sesame fusion salad with grilled chicken is a great low-sodium option with 340mg of sodium.

This salad has edamame, crunchy cashews, tender grilled chicken, and bell peppers served on a bed of kale with a sweet sesame dressing. This is the perfect option for those looking for a convenient, fresh, and low-sodium lunch or supper.

The only downside to this menu item is that its not available everywhere. It appears to be a regional menu item that is available in Canada but not in the US.

Food And Drink Contents

Is a Low-Sodium Diet Unhealthy?

Sodium occurs naturally in most foods. The most common form of sodium is sodium chloride, which may be found sold as depending on the size and shape of the salt crystals table salt, sea salt, and kosher salt, among others. Milk, beets, and celery also naturally contain sodium, as does drinking water, although the amount varies depending on the source. Sodium is also added to various food products. Some of these added forms are monosodium glutamate , sodium nitrite, sodium saccharin, baking soda , and sodium benzoate.

Because large amounts of salts are given out by regenerative water softeners, over 60 cities in Southern California have banned them because of elevated salt levels in ground water reclamation projects. Water labeled as “drinking water” in supermarkets contains natural sodium since it is usually only filtered with a carbon filter and will contain any sodium present in the source water.

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Is There Such A Thing As Eating Too Little Sodium

Worried that youre not getting enough sodium? Its not likely. Theres no reliable evidence that eating less than 1,500 mg per day of sodium is a risk for the general population. The body needs only a small amount of sodium to function properly. Thats a mere smidgen the amount in less than ¼ teaspoon. Very few people come close to eating less than that amount. Plus, healthy kidneys are great at retaining the sodium that your body needs.

The guideline to reduce to 1,500 mg may not apply to people who lose big amounts of sodium in sweat, like competitive athletes, and workers exposed to major heat stress, such as foundry workers and fire fighters, or to those directed otherwise by their healthcare provider. There is some evidence that it could be harmful to certain patients with congestive heart failure.

If you have a medical conditions or other special dietary needs or restrictions, you should follow the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

What Is A Low Sodium Diet

The majority of people get way too much in their diet, with an average intake of around 3,400 mg per day .

The daily recommendation of sodium is less than 2,300 mg per day .

To put this into perspective, one teaspoon of table salt = 2,300 mg of sodium!

When following this protocol, it’s recommended to limit high sodium foods or completely avoid them in order to keep your intake under the recommended level.

Cutting back can feel challenging at first, but it doesnt have to be. It starts by learning what foods to eat less of and which to stock up on. Plus you’ll reap the health benefits of building a healthier diet.

One of the most popular low sodium diets used for heart health is the DASH diet .

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What Should I Know Before Starting A Low Sodium Diet

This diet when not used properly and at times in combination with other medications can also cause you danger by unbalancing the electrolytes in your body. It is crucially important to consult your treating physician before starting any sort of diet this included.

In general, you should read labels of all food items and avoid most of the preserved and canned food items, because, salt is used as a preservative in many canned food. Your cooking should be with minimum salt and certainly, no table salt should be used whatsoever. Following is a table to help you out:

How To Track Your Sodium

Low Sodium Heart Healthy Recipes / Dash Diet Crock Pot Recipes Heart ...

Did you know that a fast food sandwich or burger can easily contains more than 100 percent of the sodium you need in a day? If youre like many Americans, you may be getting way more sodium than your heart can handle.

Most people consume about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day more than twice the sodium intake recommended by the American Heart Association.

Its easy to understand why. Sodium can be sneaky. It slinks into soups and sandwiches and cozies up to cold cuts and cured meats. It plants itself in your favorite pizza and poultry and burrows into breads and rolls. Learn more about the Salty Six and better alternatives

Sodium is an essential nutrient, but you dont need much in your diet. It adds up fast! Take bread, for example. One piece can have up to 230 milligrams of sodium, while a serving of turkey cold cuts can contain as much as 1,050.

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Whats A Low Sodium Diet

Asked by: Adrian Halvorson PhD

A low-sodium diet limits high-sodium foods and beverages. Healthcare professions typically recommend these diets to treat conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Although there are variations, sodium intake is generally kept to less than 23 grams per day .

What Are The 3 Foods To Never Eat

Here are my top five:

  • Hot dogs. Processed meats in general are just one of the worst things you can put into your body.
  • Pretzels. Pretzels were the ultimate wolf in sheeps clothing type of food.
  • Diet soda. Just because something is calorie-free doesnt mean its chemical-free.
  • Processed pastries.
  • Fluorescent orange snacks.

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Which Fruits Are Rich In Sodium

Products made from these fruits like applesauce, apple juice, dried apples, jams made from apples and guavas are also sodium-rich. Avocados, papaya, mangoes, carambola, pineapple, bananas, watermelons and pears also contain sodium but in low quantities. Celery and beet are two vegetables with high sodium content.

At The Store/while Shopping For Food:

Low sodium diet
  • Choose packaged and prepared foods carefully. Compare labels and choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium you can find in your store. You might be surprised that different brands of the same food can have different sodium levels.
  • Pick fresh and frozen poultry that hasnt been injected with a sodium solution. Check the fine print on the packaging for terms like broth,saline or sodium solution. Sodium levels in unseasoned fresh meats are around 100 milligrams or less per 4-ounce serving.
  • Select condiments with care. For example, soy sauce, bottled salad dressings, dips, ketchup, jarred salsas, capers, mustard, pickles, olives and relish can be sky-high in sodium. Look for a reduced- or lower-sodium version.
  • Opt for canned vegetables labeled no salt added and frozen vegetables without salty sauces. When theyre added to a casserole, soup or other mixed dish, there are so many other ingredients involved that you wont miss the salt.
  • Look for products with the American Heart Associations Heart-Check mark to find foods that can be part of an overall healthy dietary pattern.

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Can Drinking Water Lower Sodium Levels

Drinking too much water.Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause low sodium by overwhelming the kidneys’ ability to excrete water. Because you lose sodium through sweat, drinking too much water during endurance activities, such as marathons and triathlons, can also dilute the sodium content of your blood.

Best High Calorie Low Sodium Foods

21 Best High Calorie Low Sodium Foods was written by Nina Deuschle & edited/reviewed by Aly Bouzek, MS, RDN. Nina is a dietetic intern based out of Florida.

Many of us who need nutrient-dense, high calorie foods also have health conditions or concerns that have us wanting to choose lower sodium foods.

Luckily, we can be strategic with our food choices so that we are optimizing energy intake without exceeding our daily sodium intake goals!

In this post, youll hear all about:

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What Is Considered Low Sodium On A Nutrition Panel

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The nutrition facts panel provides the information you need to track sodium consumption. Memorizing the value that alerts you to low-sodium foods lets you quickly compare products and choose those that keep your sodium intake within the recommended guidelines. Using this tool to lower the sodium in your diet will help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.

How Can I Tell How Much Sodium Im Eating

500 Low Sodium Recipes: Lose the Salt Not the Flavor in Meals the Whole ...

You can find the amount of sodium in your food by looking at the Nutrition Facts label. The amount of sodium per serving is listed in milligrams . Check the ingredient list for words like sodium,salt and soda. The total sodium shown on the Nutrition Facts label includes the sodium from salt, plus the sodium from any other sodium-containing ingredient in the product. For example, this includes ingredients like sodium nitrate, sodium citrate, monosodium glutamate or sodium benzoate.

Remember to take note of the serving size on the Nutrition Facts label. If your portion size equals two servings of a product, youre actually eating double the sodium listed.

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Low Sodium Dog Foods For High Blood Pressure

When your dog has high blood pressure , its blood vessels constrict and become too narrow to support the increased blood flow pressure and may therefore burst. The best dog food for heart health contains low sodium that can help to maintain its blood pressure and prevent such issues.

Low sodium diets can aid in fending off heart problems such as congestive heart failure and strokes.

When Preparing Food:

  • Use onions, garlic, herbs, spices, citrus juices and vinegars in place of some or all of the salt to add flavor. Our recipes and tips can help!
  • Drain and rinse canned beans and vegetables. Youll cut the sodium by up to 40 percent.
  • Combine lower-sodium versions of food with regular versions. If you dont like the taste of lower-sodium foods right now, try combining them in equal parts with a regular version of the same food. Youll get less salt and probably wont notice much difference in taste. This works especially well for broths, soups and tomato-based pasta sauces.
  • Cook pasta, rice and hot cereal without salt. Youre likely going to add other flavorful ingredients, so you wont miss the salt.
  • Cook by grilling, braising, roasting, searing and sautéing to bring out natural flavors. This will reduce the need to add salt.
  • Incorporate foods with potassium like sweet potatoes, potatoes, greens, tomatoes and lower-sodium tomato sauce, white beans, kidney beans, nonfat yogurt, oranges, bananas and cantaloupe. Potassium helps counter the effects of sodium and may help lower your blood pressure.

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What Is A Low

A low-sodium diet limits foods that are high in sodium . You will need to follow a low-sodium diet if you have high blood pressure, kidney disease, or heart failure. You may also need to follow this diet if you have a condition that is causing your body to retain extra fluid. You may need to limit the amount of sodium you eat in a day to 1,500 to 2,000 mg. Ask your healthcare provider how much sodium you can have each day.

Ask For It To Be Prepared Without Table Salt

How to Follow a Low Sodium Diet

A great way to reduce the sodium content at McDonalds is to ask that your food be prepared without table salt.

A great example of this is the McDonalds french fries which are normally salted after theyre cooked. If you ask for your fries to be made without salt, you can save on a significant amount of sodium .

Additionally, in asking for your fries to be made without salt, youll always get the freshest fries because theyll have to make them separately on the spot!

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