Are you following a low sodium diet or have been diagnosed with hypertension or are you just looking to cut back on your sodium intake? Here’s what you need to know.
Sodium is vital and it is required to maintain a normal fluid balance in the body, sustain normal blood pressure and for the transmission of nerve impulses. Sodium is found naturally in certain foods and is added to most packaged foods. Doctors allege that your everyday intake of sodium should not go over 2300 mg. On the other hand, individuals who have been diagnosed with a cardiac ailment or might be susceptible to heart trouble, are advised to consume still lesser quantities.
4 powerful hacks to help cut back on excessive sodium!
- Steer clear of all convenience foods - canned soups, frozen dinners, instant cereal, ready-to-eat packets and curry mixes.
- Use fresh vegetables; avoid canned and frozen ones.
- When buying spice blends, you must read labels carefully and opt for those with no preservatives.
- Select fresh herbs, whole spices, onions, ginger and garlic. You need to be wary of - soy sauce, ketchup, sauces, packaged salad, pickles, and olives – they are jam-packed with sodium.
Another brilliant and super effective hack is to switch to a low sodium salt. Tata Salt Lite is a good option – it contains 15% reduced sodium than other salts. It is perfect for hypertensive individuals, and importantly, it does not change the taste of the food preparation. Tata Salt Lite also contains the right amount of iodine that prevents iodine deficiencies and wards off iodine deficiency-related disorders.
7 low sodium foods!
Here’s a round-up of 7 low-sodium foods which help you stick to your heart-healthy diet!
- Apples: Apples are naturally low in sodium. What’s more, they are also loaded with heart-happy potassium. This fabulous team helps keep your heart working well and keeps cardiac diseases at bay. Jump start your day with an apple smoothie or have an apple as a mid-morning snack.
- Carrots: Carrots are also naturally very low in sodium - typically less than 50 mg per serving; so it’s highly prudent that you load up on them. Additionally, be very careful of canned and pickled carrots.
- Bananas: Bananas are loaded with potassium; 1 banana contains 440mg of potassium and 1mg of sodium. Potassium helps regulate your heart function as well as the fluid balance in the body. This fruit helps lower blood pressure and provides a very strong shield against heart attack.
- Potatoes: Potatoes contain hardly any sodium; and they are crammed with potassium and healthy fibre. When you eat a diet that high in potassium and low in sodium, your heart stays very healthy and happy!
- Nuts: Nuts are perfect - they contain no sodium at all! In addition, they are chockfull of nutrition. Nuts are a wonderful source of mono-saturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats, potassium and vitamin E, and all these greatly promote heart health. Make sure you have a fistful of nuts every day. However, avoid flavored nuts to keep things healthy.
- Yogurt: Dahi is low in sodium. Always opt for plain yogurt; steer clear of the flavored options. You can throw in some fruits and nuts and have a healthy, low-sodium treat!
- Legumes: Lentils, beans and legumes are all low in sodium. They are also laden with cholesterol lowering fibre which helps bring down bad cholesterol levels and decreases your risk for diabetes mellitus as well. Consuming beans thrice per week is associated with good heart health! Stay away from canned beans though.
It is very crucial that individuals who have hypertension, hyper-natremia, or have a personal or family history of cardiac disorders should pay close attention to their sodium intake. Furthermore, those with a kidney disorder should also be careful about the amount of salt they consume, given that, consuming too much sodium puts a huge strain on the kidneys. What’s more, even if you are not experiencing any health issues, you will most certainly benefit by decreasing your salt intake.
Nutritionists advocate following a low sodium diet and claim that by cutting back 1000 milligrams of sodium per day substantially improves the blood pressure profile and your heart health. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 1500 milligrams of sodium a day.
You may be susceptible to high blood pressure because of genetic factors. Aging is a big cause of hypertension as well. Hence, excessive amounts of sodium in the diet can be disastrous for people diagnosed with heart ailments as well as those who aren’t showing any symptoms yet. With a little bit of planning and creativity, decreasing your salt intake isn’t as difficult as you think. Do consult your doctor to understand your dietary needs and restrictions before making a change to your daily diet.
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