Low-Sodium Food: Eating for a Heart Healthy Diet
Following a low-sodium diet often causes on overwhelming concern of long hours in the kitchen only to produce dull and bland foods. But with a few tips and offerings from bistroMD, eating for heart health has never been easier (or tastier)!
Eating Heart Healthy: Low-Sodium Diet and Foods
Before dismissing sodium altogether, it is noteworthy to highlight its importance for health: Sodium undeniably deserves a spot in a well-balanced diet, as the mineral and electrolyte balances and normalizes fluids in the body. But the concern of sodium relates to the excess amount most Americans consume in their diet, particularly in the forms of processed, convenience foods. In fact, the average American diet includes 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily and according to the new Dietary Guidelines, adults are advised to consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Limiting sodium intake can reduce the risk of heart disease or manage chronic diseases, including heart and kidney failure. And with heart disease being the number one cause of death in the U.S., embracing a healthful, low-sodium diet warrants consideration. Reduce sodium in the diet by adopting these heart-healthy practices:
Purchase Fresh Foods
Reducing packaged and processed products and purchasing more fresh foods is one of the simplest ways to lower sodium in the diet. Following the recommendations of the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) Diet can naturally reduce the consumption of salt, with more detailed guidelines encouraging whole grains, fruits and veggies, low- or non-fat dairy products, fish and poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Be Mindful of High-Sodium Foods
Knowing where sodium resides and hides can help individuals make more mindful decisions. Sodium is commonly added and sourced in condiments such as ketchup and tomato, pasta, BBQ, and soy sauces. Also watch out for foods that are fermented, cured, smoked, or pickled, including sauerkraut, pickles, cheeses, and lunchmeats.
Check Food Labels
Food labels can help consumers identify sodium content, particularly on packaged and boxed foods. These sodium claims are often found on food labels and can help guide food choices:
• Sodium-Free: Less than 5 mg per serving
• Salt-Free: Meets requirements for sodium-free
• Low-Sodium: 140 mg sodium or less per serving
• Very Low Sodium: 35 mg or less per serving
Additionally, check the mg of sodium per serving on the Nutrition Facts label to evaluate the product. Additional sodium descriptions include the following:
• Reduced Sodium: Contains at least 25 percent less sodium compared to the regular version of the product
• Light in Sodium: Contains 50 percent less sodium per serving compared to the amount of sodium in a regular version of the product
• Unsalted, Without Added Salt, and No Salt Added: No salt is used in the processing of the product, when the product would normally be processed with salt (such as unsalted pretzels versus regular pretzels); this does not entitle the product to be "sodium-free"
Nonetheless, checking the percent of the daily value (%DV) for sodium is a sound method to monitor sodium intake. If the %DV is 5 or less, the food is considered low in sodium. And if or when in doubt, take advantage of Nutrition Facts and Ingredients labels.
Use Fresh Herbs and Seasonings
Simultaneously reduce sodium and amplify flavor by swapping out the salt shaker with seasonings. Spicing it up in the kitchen amplifies flavor without a large need of sauces and condiments typically loaded with sodium, fat, and sugar. Lemon, lime, garlic, and onion also offers natural flavor to dishes, along with various vinegars including apple cider, rice, and red wine.
Consider Other Nutrients
Though sodium has strong ties to hypertension and heart health, so do other nutrients. For instance, including more potassium in the diet can naturally reduce high blood pressure, while low intakes of both calcium and magnesium have been linked to greater rates of high blood pressure. Fiber and omega-3 fatty acids also offer cardioprotective effects.
Low-Sodium Meal Delivery
With bistroMD, members can ensure they are conveniently eating for heart health, as low-sodium frozen meals are delivered straight to doorsteps! Meals fall at or below the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendations for calories, sodium, total fat and saturated fat. Each meal contains 600 milligrams or less of sodium per meal, also falling below the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation of 2,300 milligrams per day. But in addition to its reduction in sodium, meals retain an adequate nutrition profile with ample protein and fiber, all while being moderated in calories and fat thanks to the use of fresh, all-natural ingredients. For more information on bistroMD and the meal options offered, visit the official page here or call 866-401-3438 today!