How much salt you eat on a daily basis is one of critical elements when trying to lower your blood pressure. Here are some basics.
- Treat sodium consumption seriously.
Understand the importance of lowering your daily salt intake.
- Tell your family and friends that low sodium intake is important for you.
You may find strong allies who will be very helpful.
- Check food labels routinely.
Pay special attention to differences in sodium levels for similar products and styles. Low-fat and no-fat varieties frequently contain more sodium.
- Commit to cooking at home more often.
When you do, be conscious about using salt and products containing sodium.
- Whenever possible, drain and rinse.
In canned products a great deal of the sodium is contained in broth, juice etc.
- Eat more fruit.
All fruit is low in sodium. Check labels on canned fruit. Rinse if needed.
- Eat more fresh and frozen vegetables.
Check labels on canned vegetables. Rinse if needed.
- Use lower sodium versions of condiments.
Condiments are designed to have a strong taste. Salt is often one of their primary ingredients.
- Decrease the salt in your recipes.
Do it gradually. Sometimes you won’t notice a difference.
- Use more herbs and spices.
There are so many varieties of herbs in spices that you are guaranteed to find something you like.
- When you eat out, ask your waiter about low-sodium meals on the menu.
Be especially wary of restaurant sauces, gravy and salad dressings.
- Try no sodium and low sodium salt replacements.
Some of these products have an acquired taste.
- Make your own salad dressing.
You will have a healthier product with fewer ingredients that you can control.
- Make your own sauces and gravy.
Preparing sauces and gravy often requires extra time. Try to develop recipeshat can become a source of pride for you.
- Make your own soups.
Be careful using store-bought broths and stock. Check the labels. Try to develop a recipe that you will be able to share with pride and satisfaction of helping others.
Pretty much all vegetables should come with a disclaimer: “Not a significant source of sodium.” So, that’s a good thing! It seams as though only highly immoderate consumption of vegetables can increase your sodium intake. Even then, one has to wonder of health benefits might outweigh the danger! Still, there are just a few vegetables you should be slightly more aware of when it comes to sodium levels. First of all, seaweeds have a tendency to have higher amounts of salt (no surprise there).
When you are shopping at your local grocery store it is wise to look at the labels. However, many items don’t have labels. When is the last time you saw an apple with a familiar square box with nutritional facts? Fortunately, as far as sodium content goes, you don’t have to be too careful with fruits. In their natural raw state they have minimum to low amounts of sodium chloride. Therefore, the examples of low sodium fruits are numerous.
Dick Logue in his book “500 Low Sodium Recipes” suggest that you carry a small shaker with your favorite blend of sodium free spices. This will for sure enable you not to resort to salt shakers when eating out. You can also more confidently order dishes with specific instructions to go low on salt — because you will be able to add your own spices.
After much searching I found just the right shaker for this purpose.
When people discuss how much salt must be added to the water in order to boil pasta one of the arguments that support a more generous use of sodium chloride sounds like this: who cares? It ends up in the drain anyway! Well, not exactly, but there is some truth in that. You will not be consuming all the salt you have added to that big pot of spaghetti. The situation is drastically different when it comes to salt being added to soups.
As recommended by the American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook, eating at least two servings of fish once a week reduces the risk of heart disease. Particularly if you go for fish that contains omega-3. However, if you just run out to the store and come back with a package of smoked salmon you may end up with a product that contains a lot of sodium. Salt is generously used when smoking fish even though salmon does not really need anything to enhance its flavor.
Ok, let’s start with the joke. Husband and wife came for clerical advice to a priest (rabbi, guru – what have you). “Father (rabbi, guru…) we just keep having babies, one after another. Is there any way to prevent this from happening?” After a brief pause the man responded, “Of course, all it takes is a drink of water”. Elated at the ease of the proposed solution, the couple just needed one clarification.