Guide to a Low Sodium Diet

Most Americans today consume more than 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of sodium. Excess sodium intake has been linked to high blood pressure, kidney problems and weight gain. Following a low sodium diet can be challenging, but it has a number of benefits. It can lower blood pressure and improve your overall health. There are several things that you need to do in order to follow a low-sodium diet.

Pass on the Salt Shaker

Many people will add salt to their food before they even taste it. However, if this is a habit that you have, then you will have to break it. Table salt is made up of about 40 percent sodium.

Use Fresh Meat

You should choose fresh meat over processed meat. Fresh cuts of pork, beef and chicken do have natural sodium in them, but they have significantly less sodium than processed meat. Ham, bacon and lunch meat are examples of processed meat. If you can keep the meat in the refrigerator for a few weeks, then it probably has too much sodium in it.

Read the Food Labels

You will be surprised to see how much sodium is contained in common food items. That is why you need to read the food labels before you purchase food. There are low-sodium canned vegetables, crackers, cereals and pasta sauces. Keep in mind that there are some foods that do not taste salty, but they still have a lot of sodium in them. For example, cottage cheese doesn’t taste salty, but it is high in sodium.

Use Herbs and Spices to Season Your Food

You do not have to use salt to season your food. You can use herbs and spices to make your dishes taste great. It typically takes 6 to 8 weeks for people to get adjusted to eating foods with less sodium. Using herbs and spices instead of sodium can also help with weight loss.

Do Your Homework When Dining Out

You may think that eating at a restaurant is something that you cannot do if you are trying to follow a low sodium diet. However, if you do your homework beforehand, you can still enjoy a meal at a restaurant. You should review the menu and find out about the different options that you have.

You can also ask the server if there is any salt added to the food. You can request that no sodium be added or request a low-sodium option.

Chose Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are low in sodium. It is best to buy fresh, but if you choose to buy frozen, then you will need to choose ones that have been labeled fresh frozen. Canned fruits and vegetables typically have added sodium.

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