Excessive sodium intake raises the risk of disorders such as hypertension and kidney failure. Adopting a low sodium diet, we intend to limit this substance to improve health. Excessive salt intake is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension. Given this, many people have been interested in the low sodium diet as a preventive resource. This food model proposes to limit the intake of sodium-rich foods to the maximum in order to improve health. Although it implies restricting some products of regular consumption, its benefits make it worthwhile. Although initially designed for hypertensive patients with kidney failure, today is an attractive proposal for those who want to take care of their health. Even, it can be useful to lose weight since it invites to eat in a healthy way.
Why is it important to reduce salt intake? What is the low sodium diet? We understand that many people still do not find answers to these questions. For this reason, we want to share detailed information about this type of Eating.
Salt and Food
The body needs a certain amount of salt to function in optimal conditions. By ingesting it, we incorporate this key mineral for the health of many organs. The problem is that salt is present in many foods for regular consumption, so it is easy to exceed its consumption. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most people consume too much salt. They even consume up to twice the recommended amount.
“In general, a healthy diet should contain only 2 to 5 grams of salt”.
When this amount is higher than recommended, there is an accumulation of sodium in the body. This situation, although not always clearly manifested, brings with it serious health disorders such as high blood pressure, kidney problems and inflammation.
Why is it Convenient to Reduce Salt Intake?
The reduction of salt consumption is one of the essential measures to ensure the quality of life in general. By means of the sodium diet, many functions of the organism that are affected by the accumulation of sodium can be improved. Although many overlook it, the intake of this ingredient can cause serious imbalances in the body. Some of the related problems include:
- Fluid retention (edema)
- Circulatory insufficiency
- Arterial hypertension
- Diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract
- Deterioration of the stomach mucosa
- Difficulties in the absorption of nutrients
Now, it is not about eliminating it completely from the diet. Consumed in small doses, salt is necessary for the organism. Its assimilation helps maintain fluid balance and is essential for cells and nerve connections.
Everything You Need to Know About the Low Sodium Diet
To begin with, it is essential to clarify that a low sodium diet is not synonymous with moving away from the concept of a balanced diet. Therefore, following this regimen does not imply restricting nutritional groups or adopting dangerous hypo caloric plans. The main characteristic of this Eating model is the reduction of salt consumption. With some simple guidelines, it is possible to regulate the daily consumption of this ingredient so as not to exceed the recommended daily amounts.
What does a Low Sodium Diet Imply?
Like any healthy eating plan, the low sodium diet implies a series of changes in relation to the current diet. However, it does not mean reaching extremes or turning food into suffering. There are, then, three fundamental premises that must be applied:
- Eliminate extra salt (like the salt shaker on the table)
- Choose foods low in sodium and identify those that contain high doses
- Change the methods of cooking and dressing, looking for alternatives to salt
Low Sodium Foods
- Meats and birds
- River fish
- Vegetables and fresh fruits
- Pulses and whole grains
- Nuts and seeds (natural, that is, unprocessed)
- Low-fat milk and yogurt
- Olive oil
- Herbs and spices
Foods with a High Salt Content
- Carbonated drinks
- Embossed meats
- Canned and pre-cooked products
- Bread and industrial bakery foods
- Frozen food
- Cubed broths
- Roasted and salted nuts
- Sauces and industrial dressings
- Fritters and package snacks
- Pickled foods (olives, pickles, etc.)
Other Recommendations for a Low Sodium Diet
Some relate the low consumption of salt with tasteless and unpleasant dishes. Actually, there are many alternative methods to cook without this added ingredient. For example, using herbs and spices helps enhance the flavor. In addition, you can follow tips such as:
- Cook steamed or in papillote (baked, wrapped in aluminum foil)
- Use organic vinegars and lemon juice as a dressing
- Boil vegetables with little water
- Monitor medications that provide sodium
- Check food labels before buying them
- Use different herbs and vegetables to get more flavorful preparations
Example of Low Sodium Diet
To design the menus of a low-sodium diet, you should only consider what foods you should avoid. Thus, having clear healthy foods, you can vary the daily meals of the week. We expose a simple example:
- Breakfast: herbal tea, glass of skim milk and 2 whole wheat toast (without salt) with honey
- Mid-morning: a seasonal fruit or 1 glass of milk (200 ml) homemade vegetable
- Lunch: unsalted vegetable broth with olive oil and oregano, a portion of lean meat and 2 slices of wholemeal bread without sodium
- Snack: glass of yogurt skimmed with natural seeds
- Dinner: steamed vegetables with boiled rice without salt and seasoned with herbs, grilled breast and 1 banana
Do you think you’re eating too much salt? If you think it is time to limit the consumption of this ingredient, follow the low sodium diet. Finally, remember that if you are at risk of suffering cardiovascular disorders is essential to avoid excess sodium.
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