Why be concerned about following a low sodium diet? — a question many ask and brush aside. Do not be one of the unfortunate people who fall victim to a heart attack or stroke due to eating too much sodium.
A low sodium diet is recommended especially for those with high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure is a common result of taking in too much sodium on a regular basis. With the vast amount of unhealthy foods in our grocery stores and restaurants, many people are ingesting too much sodium. The average adult aged 51 years or older is only supposed to take in 1500 milligrams of sodium per day. Less than a quarter of the U.S. population falls into the acceptable range of daily sodium intake. It is predicted that in the next ten years over half of the population will have high blood pressure.
On your next visit to the store, take note of all the high sodium foods you pick up. See if you can stay under 1500 mg of sodium per day. Many times you can calculate that much in just one meal. Sodium (not just salt but other ingredients) is packed into many foods today. If you aren’t aware of healthy low sodium food choices such as the many no-salt-added foods, then chances are you are taking in too much sodium.
Low sodium diets are not hard to follow once you get the right ingredients and know what to look for. Here is a helpful shopping tip: Shop around the perimeter of the store, the outer isles instead of the inner isles. This is where the fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meats, fish, seafood, and dairy are usually located. Avoid processed foods.
There are many options available today that make keeping in the acceptable low sodium range very easy. One important option is using salt-free seasonings instead of your regular seasonings or flavor packets or canned soups which are usually very high in sodium. Salt-free seasonings contain no salt at all and can still make your food taste good and flavorful, while at the same time keeping your heart healthy by lowering your daily sodium intake which can help lower your blood pressure.
Seniors are in the high-risk group, especially when it comes to taking in too much sodium. If you fall into this group, then it is very important to seek a low-sodium diet. Eating at restaurants makes it hard to follow a low-sodium diet. Most restaurants serve high sodium meals with a handy salt shaker at every table. Salt substitutes are rarely seen when eating out, which makes eating at home and cooking heart-healthy meals extra important.
The benefits of choosing a low sodium diet are numerous. If you want to prevent health problems such as high blood pressure which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney failure, to name just a few complications, then the best advice is to pay attention to nutrition. Learn to cook healthy, flavorful, low sodium meals at home, from scratch, with fresh ingredients, and use salt substitutes and salt-free seasonings.