Salt, sodium, and hypertension are all words that are seemingly tossed around constantly in the modern world.
Whether you're just trying to make better health choices for yourself or have been dealt a diagnosis of hypertension, it's important to be mindful of your salt intake.
This doesn't mean that you have to swear off all savory flavors and give up your favorite meals – there are plenty of low sodium foods that can help you maintain a healthy diet while still enjoying your food.
A list of healthy, low sodium foods that will help you stick to your goals. From fruits and vegetables to proteins and whole grains, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from.
What is a Low-Sodium Diet?
If you're trying to reduce your risk of heart disease, eating low-sodium foods is a good place to start. Sodium contributes to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Low-sodium diets can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
But what are the benefits of eating low-sodium foods specifically?
Here are three reasons why you should think about cutting back on sodium:
Benefits of eating low sodium foods
1) Low-sodium diets can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
2) Sodium can contribute to weight gain, so reducing intake may help with weight loss or maintenance.
3) Foods low in sodium tend to be healthier overall, skin looks better, and you will feel more energy.
How much sodium should I eat daily?
As little as possible - it is best to try and keep your sodium intake below 2000mg per day (and that is equal to 1 teaspoon of table salt) or even lower if you have certain conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Cooking food under 2000mg is not always practical every day due to our reliance on prepared food which tends to be high in salt already.
How do I safely cut out salt from my diet?
Don't be put off by the initial difficulties that you will encounter in quitting refined salt - once your taste buds adapt, you will never want to go back to eating processed food with added salt. When cooking, try using herbs and spices as a flavor enhancer instead of using salt.
Experiment with other options until you find ones that give food good flavor without adding too much sodium. A little garlic powder or onion powder can provide great flavor without having to use as much as table salt would.
Cajun spice mixes often contain no sodium or very little per serving but gives dishes a complex and delicious flavor that makes them irresistible!
The following tips should help:
- Keep track of everything you eat for at least seven days, including snacks. This will give you a good idea of what foods are high in salt and which ones are not.
- Add one type of salt-free spice to your pantry at a time - keep track of them all to avoid confusion!
- Stick to fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible, especially if they are organically grown - these usually contain lower amounts of sodium than their commercially grown counterparts.
10 Low-Sodium Foods to eat daily
One of the healthiest things you can do is to include a variety of fresh vegetables in your diet. However, if you are watching your sodium intake, that can be a challenge.
Many canned and frozen vegetables are high in sodium, but there are low sodium options available.
What to include in vegetables for a low sodium diet?
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peppers, potato, sweet potato, carrots.
2. FRESH/DRIED FRUITS
Do you need to watch your sodium intake, but still crave something sweet?
Low sodium dried fruits may be the perfect solution for you! With a variety of flavors and textures to choose from, these snacks are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while sticking to your diet.
Apples, oranges, bananas, and pears all are good for a low sodium diet.
When most people think about low sodium foods, they automatically think about things like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, chicken, beef, pork, and turkey all are low sodium meat options that you can find at your local grocery store.
So if you're looking for a way to reduce your sodium intake, consider adding some low sodium meats to your diet.
Fish is a healthy food choice, and some fish varieties are low in sodium too.
If you're looking for a heart-healthy way to add more protein to your diet, adding tuna and codfish to your menu is a great option.
So if you're looking for a tasty and healthy way to enjoy seafood, make delicious low sodium fish recipes!
Are you looking for a low sodium breakfast option? Eggs might be the perfect fit for you!
Eggs are low in sodium and high in protein, making them a great way to start your day.
Plus, there are many different ways to prepare eggs, so you can find a version that fits your taste. Give eggs a try for your next low-sodium breakfast!
6. DAIRY PRODUCTS
Have you been told to reduce your salt intake? You may think that means giving up all of your favorite dairy products, but that's not necessarily the case.
You can choose from low-sodium slices of cheese, yogurt, and milk to add to your low-sodium diet.
Definitely try out the unsalted butter when you are trying to cut off the sodium intake level.
Dairy products can be a great way to get calcium while reducing your sodium intake.
7. NUTS AND SEEDS
Nuts and seeds are a great way to add flavor, crunch, and nutrition to your low sodium diet.
They are also a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Plus, they are relatively low in sodium themselves.
Some of the healthiest nuts and seeds to eat on a low sodium diet are almonds, pecans, acorns, hazelnut, and lotus seeds.
Beverages like tea, coffee, and low-sodium vegetable juices are always good for a low-sodium diet.
These beverages help to feel full without adding any extra salt to the diet.
9. UNSALTED POPCORNS
If you have been prescribed a low sodium diet, you may be wondering if there are any snacks that you can still enjoy. One option that is low in sodium and healthy is unsalted popcorn.
Popcorn is one of the low-sodium foods and a whole grain food and is a good source of fiber. You can make your own popcorn at home or buy it pre-packaged.
If you make it yourself, try using olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter or margarine.
You can also add spices such as garlic powder, curry powder, or chili powder to give it some flavor. unsalted popcorn is a satisfying snack that will help you stick to your low sodium diet.
10. HEALTHY FAT OIL
If you are trying to follow a low sodium diet, you may be wondering if you can still use oil.
Oil like olive oil or avocado oil is perfectly suitable for a low-sodium diet.
Healthy fats can help make food more filling and satisfying, which can help you eat less sodium overall.
My Take on Low-Sodium Foods
Sodium is an important nutrient that our bodies need to function properly, but like anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad.
A low-sodium diet is one way to make sure you’re getting the right amount of sodium without overdoing it.
By making some simple changes in your diet and cooking habits, you can reduce your sodium intake and improve your health.
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