Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What is Your Sodium Intake?

WoW!  Good question.  That hand full of chips or snack crackers can increase your intake by 100-300 mg.  Processed low-fat foods have extra sodium in order to increase flavor.  What about when you eat out?  Restaurants always seem to have increased salt in their menu items.  You can eat a days recommended amount (2300 mg) in one meal. Even "healthy choices" are very high in sodium.

A few tips for a lower sodium diet (for home and eating out):
  • Decrease your amount of dressings & condiments
  • Use oil & vinegar or squeeze a slice of lemon on your food/salad
  • Don't add salt to your coffee 
  • Don't add salt to your food at the table
  • Read labels and avoid items high in sodium
  • Order dressing & sauces on the side
  • Go online or call the restaurant and read the sodium & fat content of the menu items
  • When eating out, request "lite sodium" options.  Many chefs will prepare your food with little or no salt.  This is wonderful!  Especially if you are a heart patient.  Stix Japanese Steak House is an example of this.  One of our favorite Chinese restaurants will do this for us as well, and we have found that the food is much better!  We love it!
  • Purchase low sodium foods.  Read the labels.  You will find that there are many good and healthy options out there right on your market shelf.
  • Eat fresh veggies and fruit
  • Cook from scratch and modify your ingredients.  Recipes, especially those from older cook books, do not call for a lot of sodium.  Just enough to bring out the flavor.
  • Avoid fast foods
  •  Use a common sense approach to your diet (I know, it is a 4 letter word!)
 Be aware of what you put in your body.  You only have one and need to take care of it! :-)

Have a blessed day!

Editing to add: The American Heart Association has so much information on their website as well.  Especially about eating healthier for your heart.  They even have a pamphlet called "Shaking the Salt Habit".  They are wonderful to help you in anyway that they can.  

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