The low sodium diet is an alternative to current eating habits, which tend to include too much sodium because of fast food and processed foods.
And is that much of the sodium in your diet does not come from the salt shaker, but goes into processed foods. If fast food and processed foods abound in your diet, it is very likely that you are exceeding the daily sodium limit, which is 1.500 milligrams daily. The low sodium diet is an excellent starting point to solve this dangerous situation for your health.
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Tips for taking less sodium
Of course, excess sodium in the diet is not an issue to be taken lightly. And, as you already know, consuming too much salt increases the risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke and heart disease.
Consequently, controlling sodium should be one of the priorities when designing an eating plan. Here we explain how to adopt a lower sodium lifestyle to protect your arteries and overall health.
If you want to follow a low sodium diet, you will have to get used to eating less processed foods and replacing them with fresh foods… The more the merrier. Eating more fresh food is one of society's pending issues, being convenient due to many things, including the reduction in sodium that it entails. The Mediterranean diet is a great idea, as it includes a lot of fruits and vegetables.
And to flavor your meals, you will have to save the salt shaker and rely on spices, meat and fish broths, citrus fruits and of course garlic and onion. Substituting salt for these alternatives is not only healthier, but also improves the flavor of the dishes, increasing their potency and number of nuances.
Consider the Mediterranean diet
Take a look at the article: Mediterranean diet. This way of seeing food (and also of understanding life) is based on fresh food. Here we explain how to follow it and see all its health benefits.
Do not add salt until you taste it
Taste the food before adding salt. Many times it is done automatically, but if you try it before, on many occasions you will probably come to the conclusion that it is not necessary to add salt (especially when it comes to fresh and seasonal foods). A pinch of salt here and there seems insignificant, but if they add up over a week or a month they are transformed into a very considerable amount of salt. Therefore, this strategy will help you greatly reduce your sodium intake.
Check the labels
Ideally, for the results of a low sodium diet to be faster and more noticeable is to always eat fresh, but completely dispense with processed foods it is quite a difficult task. We refer to packaged meals (either canned, plastic or brick), processed meats such as sausages, cereals, bakery products and certain breads.
What is in your hand is to bet on the brand with less sodium. Manufacturers report product composition on labels, so look for sodium and compare it with the rest to determine which option is best for you.
How to maintain a low sodium diet outside the home
Do you eat out often? That further complicates the task of keeping sodium under control, since we cannot know how everything we order in restaurants has been prepared. In any case, you can use your intuition to choose the option with less sodium when you are forced to eat out. Fast food restaurants limit themselves to assembling meals, so the amount of salt cannot be changed. On the other hand, traditional restaurants prepare many meals from fresh food and at the moment (or at least it should be), which allows adding less salt or not adding anything if the customer requests it.
And if you have no choice but to eat in one of those restaurants, you can always order the healthiest dish (using intuition again), skipping portions if the only possible option is a high-sodium meal and avoid sauces (ketchup is one of them but not the only one) or use them in smaller amounts.
Actions such as ordering a small portion or accompanying the meal with a salad instead of, for example, the typical French fries, will help you reduce the presence of sodium in your diet, as well as not consuming more calories than you can burn, a habit that, remember, leads to overweight and obesity. Regarding salads, they are not all low in sodium: keep an eye on the olives, cheese and dressings.