Low Sodium Diets - Useful Facts You Ought to Know
If you remember your high school chemistry, you'd know what these letters stand for. It is the symbol of the compound sodium chloride, more commonly known as the lowly table salt. It's an important compound that our bodies need to function properly. However, the American diet today is too high in sodium-- far more than what our bodies really need. When you consume too much salt, you retain fluid and find it difficult to breathe. A diet that is too high in sodium leads to high blood pressure and heart disease. It is also pointed to as one of the contributory factors to kidney ailments.
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Doctors often recommend a low sodium diet in conjunction with a low fat diet for those who are battling hypertension and other heart diseases. For most individuals who have been used to salt all their lives, the transition is perhaps one of the most difficult. Eating foods that now taste bland becomes a real challenge for someone who is used to munching on chips, pizza or even eating vegetable stir fries with more than a pinch of salt. You're lucky if your physician only orders you to limit your sodium consumption to 2000 mg a day at the most. This is closest to what Americans normally consume and just involves cutting out most junk and processed foods from your diet. However, if your low sodium diet requires you to lessen your intake to less than 1000 mg a day, you are going to have to do some serious cleaning up of your pantry.
To help you succeed in your low sodium meal plans, wean yourself away from foods that are naturally high in sodium. Most of the foodstuffs that belong to this category typically include processed foods. These are the canned soups that you just love to open, heat and serve, boxed foods like macaroni and cheese, those big bags of chips and processed meats like bacon, hotdogs and the like. Pre-packaged frozen dinners and fast food favorites like burgers and French fries are also too rich in salt. Aside from these, canned goods like meat loaf, beef loaf, tuna and even canned veggies are also very high in sodium content. Fried or breaded chicken and the gravy mixes that accompany these should also be weaned from your diet as these are chockfull of NaCl. Even biscuits and cottage cheese may also have too high sodium content that is detrimental to health.
So what can you eat if you're on a low sodium diet? Contrary to what you may think, there are still a lot of healthy and tasty options for you. You just have to stick to nature's bounties. Fruits are naturally low in sodium and so are vegetables. If you must cook your veggies, don't add salt in them. Rather you can use other herbs and spices that are way healthier. Whole wheat breads may also be included in your diet. Beef, fish and eggs have little sodium on their own so find a way to cook them without using salt as a way to make them tasty. Again, herbs can help in this regard.
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