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About Low Sodium Diet

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Low sodium diet – that should be an interesting diet, because being on such diet means taking between 1.5 to 2.4 grams of sodium daily. So far so good, but just imagine how tiny little amount of salt you can consume daily having in mind that one teaspoon of salt contains 2.3 grams of sodium. Imagine how many foods you should avoid because of the salt in them in order not to exceed that small amount of one teaspoon of salt per day …

Being on low sodium diet – medical reasons

There are certain health problems that require low sodium diet such as heart failure. Well, heart failure is too general; to be more specific I should mention some of the most common causes of HF such as heart attack, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy. People with diabetes, cirrhosis, kidney disease, Ménière’s disease also should be on a low sodium diet.

Effects of sodium on health

Sodium is essential for all of us to be healthy. It is contained in certain amounts in all our body fluids like blood, sweat, tears. But it’s the sodium disbalance that causes the above mentioned health problems.

Negative effect 1

As sodium retains water and basic blood ions are more than 90% sodium ions then excess sodium levels cause blood volume to expand.

Negative effect 2

Excess sodium levels constrict blood vessels that combined with negative effect 1 makes human heart work harder than normal casing various heart problems.

Finally let’s see which foods you can eat and which you should avoid while being on a low sodium diet:

Foods high in sodium content

Sodium naturally occurs in:

  • Table salt
  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Milk
  • Drinking water

Sodium is added to many food products:

  • Soy sauce
  • Worcester sauce
  • Bullion cubes
  • Garlic salt
  • All processed meats such as sausages and ham
  • All processed foods such as chips, frozen meals
  • All canned products such as soups, fruits and vegetables
  • Fast foods

Foods low in sodium content

All unprocessed and fresh foods such as:

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Poultry, fish and other fresh lean meat – beef, pork, lamb,
  • Unprocessed grain products
  • Unsalted butter and cottage cheese
  • Honey
  • Skim milk
  • Macaroni, rice, pasta, barley and noodles ( do not add salt to water for cooking)
  • Dried beans, lentils, peas, rice
  • Some herbs: parsley, dill, basil, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, cumin, ginger, etc.
  • Some seasonings: black pepper, cayenne pepper, some chili and hot sauces

In conclusion

You can choose to be on a low sodium diet like I did because of my baby. I don’t want him to eat salt therefore I started to cook without adding any salt to our meals and to read very carefully all labels of foods before give them to my child.

Although our family low sodium diet is not very strict, we stick to it for almost a year now and I can say I feel great. Now I can eat anything salt free and it tastes great for me. I don’t care anymore where the salt shaker is.

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