Salt Reduction Diet
There are many illnesses that require a diet that is low in salt aka sodium. Improving your eating habits and incorporating a sodium reduction diet into your healthier lifestyle is a good idea even if you do not have an illness that demands you reduce your sodium intake. You can prevent the excess strain that a diet high in sodium creates and help avoid kidney disease, heart disease and even osteoporosis by cutting down the amount of sodium you eat.
It’s not just the stuff you shake on your food, although adding table salt to your food definitely increases your sodium intake. Throw away the salt shaker, but also be aware that sodium is present in many of the foods you naturally eat. Some foods have a higher sodium content than others, however. Fish that live in salt water have a higher salt content naturally than freshwater fish. Shellfish are especially high in salt content.
Foods naturally high in sodium are less of a problem than foods that have added sodium contents. In order to lower your consumption with a sodium reduction diet you need to know how to identify the hidden salt. Avoid pickled foods and cured meats. The brine used to create foods like pickled fish and eggs, bacon, salami and ham is high in salt. Preserved meats are especially high in sodium. Any food that is normally refrigerated, but can be kept on a shelf should be suspect and avoided. One small slice of beef jerky contains up to 443mg of sodium. Even good foods, dried and cured such as tomatoes are going to be very high in sodium. 2 cups of dried tomatoes have 2095mg of sodium.
All sauces, especially soy sauce, tomato-based sauces and regular salad dressings should be avoided on a sodium reduction diet.
Beware of Salt Substitutes
Always read the label on a salt substitute product. While they do not contain “salt,” they can have a high amount of potassium. Some over the counter medications also have high salt contents. These hidden salt contents will increase your overall intake and reduce the effects of your attempts to eliminate salt from your diet.
When creating your sodium reduction diet, carefully check the medications you use regularly, especially indigestion aids. Eliminate any foods that contain more than 400mg for a single serving and stop adding salt to your plate from the shaker. Increase the number of foods you eat that have less than 140mg of salt per serving such as fruit and vegetables and beware of all processed or prepared foods.