For individuals with health risks related to hypertension, using salt-free or no-salt seasonings on their food which should be prepared at home, is extremely important in their efforts to fight back against high blood pressure.
Unfortunately, most of the foods we can purchase from the grocery store and in restaurants are heavily seasoned or preserved with salt, so our culture has developed a chronic issue with having over-salted bodies. The kidneys cannot handle the excessive sodium in our diets, which causes the body to retain sodium (a component of salt). To counteract this, a diet low in sodium is important for its many health benefits, primarily to lower high blood pressure.
The average American consumes about 3,300 mg of sodium per day. This is far too much! Currently, it is suggested that a low-sodium diet restrict its users to 1,500 mg of sodium per day, or less. Adopting a low or reduced sodium diet can help lower high blood pressure, lessen the effects of edema, helps with kidney and heart problems, not to mention countless other health benefits. The Mayo Clinic recommends that healthy adults limit their sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day at the most.
There are many ways to reduce sodium in a diet and here are a few tips to help. Use salt-free seasonings, cook at home, use fresh vegetables but if not available, find “no salt added” canned or frozen vegetables, purchase only fresh fish, poultry and lean meats rather than processed products, are great ways to do this. Additionally, cook pasta, rice and hot cereals without salt while also avoiding the “instant” types of these products as they usually contain additional sodium. Draining and rinsing canned food items like beans, will help remove some of the excess sodium which might need to be repeated two or three times. There are also many websites with recipes and cooking tips, that will not only help us do a better job cooking, but also show us how to find more ways to reduce sodium and how to be more aware of hidden sources of sodium, especially high sodium foods and condiments, many we might not have thought of.
There are many salt-free seasonings on the market these days and doctors encourage their patients with hypertension to utilize them along with additional herbs and spices. Patients needing these types of seasonings can find them readily available at most grocery stores, discount clubs and online. These can drastically reduce our sodium intake in a single meal, while increasing the flavor of the food. This is a simple thing we can all do to make a difference in our health and overall well-being.
It is vital that we all make better choices for our health if we plan to live long, active lives.The World Health Organization says that in 2012, one in three adults worldwide has high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes, this is a crisis that must be addressed. Taking small steps to exercise more, reduce stress in our lives, get more sleep and eat better, including the use of salt-free seasonings, is imperative.