Dietary sodium is a crucial part of a balanced meal because it maintains the concentration of your body fluids. That said, it is important not to consume amounts more than the recommended quantity of 2300 mg a day for adults. Consuming any more sodium than this will increases the chances of heart disease and stroke. So, if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes, your doctor is likely to have recommended a low sodium diet to you. And your recommended intake may be as low as 1500 mg.
Salt is the main source of sodium in food. So, the best way to bring down your sodium intake is by reducing your salt intake. Also, have more home cooked meals and eat out only once in a while. Here are 4 tips to help you choose low sodium foods for when you eat at home.
4 Tips To Choose Low Sodium Foods For Home
1. Buy Fresh Produce
If you’re looking to eat fruits or vegetables while reducing your sodium intake, buy fresh ones instead of canned varieties. Fruits like blackberries, blueberries, guavas, and lemons are low in sodium.1 Apricots, cherries, plums, and oranges have almost no sodium and hence are also great options. Veggies like asparagus, eggplant, cucumber, and onion are great to include in your low sodium diet.2 Potato, leek, lettuce, and peas are also great options.
2. Look At The Label For Baked Goods
While buying the ingredients for baking, look at the label and pick the ones with low sodium. If you need to use butter, use the unsalted kind. Flour of the whole wheat, white rice, and soy varieties has almost no sodium. For chocolate, try the unsweetened
3. Use Specific Grain And Rice Varieties
Grains like wheat bran, oat bran, millets, and quinoa are great choices for a low sodium diet. White and brown rice are also fairly low in sodium and may work quite well.4
4. Eat Unsalted Varieties Of Snacks
You’re bound to feel hungry between meals. So, it’s a good idea to pick low sodium alternatives instead of your usual choices. Banana chips are a great replacement for other salty kinds of chips.5 You could also eat unsalted rice crackers, which have almost no sodium.
Now that you know the low sodium foods you can eat at home, read on to know what foods are low in sodium when you’re looking to eat a proper 4-course meal at a restaurant.
What Low Sodium Foods To Eat At A Restaurant
According to the American Heart Association, bread and soup, which are normally what you would start your meal with at a restaurant, have the highest sodium levels. Avoid these and choose fruit or veggie options instead. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of potassium, which can help eliminate excess sodium from
2. Main Course
Whatever you decide to order for your main course, ask the chef to make it without salt. If you order something that usually comes with a salty dressing, get the dressing on the side and use it sparingly. You could also choose to squeeze some lemon on your food instead. Any meat you order should also be had without salt. You could sprinkle some pepper and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on it if you like.7
The best choices for dessert low in sodium are the ones with fresh fruit or frozen options like sorbet or frozen yogurt. Avoid baked foods like cakes and pies.
- Processed foods are usually high in sodium. Avoid them as much as possible.
- Always check the label of any food item you buy at a store to avoid going past your recommended sodium limit.
- Steer clear of fast food outlets. They usually assemble their food, so you can’t really request for low sodium.
- Asian cuisine also tends to be high in sodium because of their sauces and soups. The same goes with Italian food.
Try these recommended foods and tips and you’re sure to be
|↑1||Full Report (All Nutrients): 09042, Blackberries, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑2||Full Report (All Nutrients): 11011, Asparagus, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑3||Full Report (All Nutrients): 01123, Egg, whole, raw, fresh. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑4||Full Report (All Nutrients): 20037, Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑5||Full Report (All Nutrients): 19400, Snacks, banana chips. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑6||A PRIMER ON POTASSIUM. American Heart Association.|
|↑7||Guidelines for a Low Sodium Diet. UCSF Medical Center.|