A Low Sodium Diet and how it Benefits your Health
One step to healthy living is healthy eating which includes maintaining a low-sodium diet. WebMD explains that salt- sodium chloride-is a major contributor to high blood pressure. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a leading cause of heart disease.
Hypertension affects approximately one in three Americans. When blood pressure gets too high, damage occurs in many organs such as the heart, kidneys, brain and eyes. By adhering to a low-sodium diet, many people see their blood pressure levels decrease. A low-sodium diet can also reduce damage to internal organs.
Where Does Sodium Live?
Sodium is found in many foods, especially processed foods. A reduction in sodium intake will reduce blood pressure and when blood pressure is lowered, a person has a smaller risk of developing heart disease. A low-sodium diet can also contribute to a decrease in the risk for stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, and stomach cancer and kidney disease.
The American Heart Association recommends the following tips for a low-sodium diet:
Read nutrition labels and find foods with lower sodium content. High levels of sodium may seem hidden in pre-packaged food, especially when a food doesn't taste salty-this is where nutrition labels come in handy. Pay attention to serving sizes and keep these tips from the Food and Drug Administration in mind: 120 mg or less of sodium per serving is pretty low. 480 mg or more of sodium per serving is high and should be watched out for. Low sodium means 140 mg of sodium or less per serving, whereas very low sodium means 35 mg or less per serving. To be on the safe side, shoot for foods with very low sodium.
Choose fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits generally don't have a lot of sodium. Try an apple, banana or an orange for 1 lonely milligram of sodium and if you're feeling adventurous, eat half of cantaloupe which cashes in at 14mg of sodium.
Vegetables have a little more sodium. An avocado, which has many other health benefits, has 10mg of sodium. Raw broccoli has 12mg, raw spinach has 22mg and a small tomato has 11mg.
Limit processed foods. More than 75% of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods-not the salt shaker. Most processed foods may not taste salty, but 9 times out of 10, they're loaded up with massive amounts of sodium. Try purchasing fruits and vegetables from your local farmer's market, cook at home so you can regulate how much sodium you use and pay attention to nutrition labels.
Avoid adding salt when cooking and eating and use herbs instead. Instead of using salt to flavor your vegetables, try olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette to kick it up a notch. On potatoes or pasta, use roasted garlic to add a bit of spice. Instead of salting your eggs, use a low sodium salsa to give them some flavor. And for fish and seafood, try adding a little lemon juice instead of salt for a subtle, tangy flavor.
Choose foods with potassium. These foods actually counter the effects of sodium and may help lower your blood pressure.
A Simple Alternative
This can be very overwhelming for someone just starting out on a low-sodium diet. It takes a lot of time and effort to plan out trips to the grocery store a couple times a week, learn healthy recipes and put aside a designated amount of time to cook and enjoy your meal every night.
Our chefs love picking out the freshest ingredients and creating an entree that's both healthy and delicious. We limit the amount of sodium that we use in our entrees so that's one thing that you will never have to worry about with bistroMD. Whether you're looking to drop a few pounds or start a healthy lifestyle for the long-term, we can help you.
It only takes a few weeks to start seeing results so what are you waiting for?
We have a Men's and Women's program with the option to receive five-or-seven-days' worth of healthy meals delivered right to your door. The seven day option comes with the My Night feature - giving you a day to just kick back and relax.