Low Sodium Meals

The US FDA recommends that healthy adult Americans consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon) of salt per day. For an adult that has had heart related illnesses (such as heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.), it is recommended they have less than 2,000 milligrams.

With that knowledge in mind, how do we maintain a healthy Low Sodium Diet?

The first thing to look at is what we’re eating. It’s a good idea to stay away from items such as:

  • processed foods
  • frozen dinners
  • cured meats
  • snacks (pretzels, crackers)
  • condiments (mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce)
  • broths
  • and others (dressings, soy sauce, bouillon cubes, meat tenderizers, seasoned salts)

This isn’t to say that you CAN’T have any of these, but cutting down on them is a great first step. So what’s left? I know, that takes care of just about everything in our cupboards. The good news is, there are tons of healthy options out there for us.

Read The Label

When you are at the grocery store, read the labels on the food packages. Watch for words like salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking soda, baking powder, and sodium benzoate. Many food manufacturers are now aware that we want healthy options so they are trying to cash in, which is good for us. To catch our attention, many packages now have labels like “Sodium-Free” (less than 5 mg of sodium per serving), “Very Low Sodium” (35 mg or less), or “No Salt Added.”

Don’t Take It With A Grain Of Salt

The old saying “Take it with a grain of salt” or “.. worth his salt” are just wrong by today’s health standards. In the olden days, salt was a very valuable commodity. In the US Civil War, some people were paid with salt. The truth is, the previous value of salt is now meaningless now that we know the effects sodium has on our bodies. Once you learn about Sodium Alternatives, and herbs and spices, you won’t miss salt at all. Instead of salt, try 1 tablespoon of garlic powder with 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Or, toss your pasta with fresh chopped garlic. There are many different options.

Cool From Scratch

The best advice out there, and not always the easiest on a tight time budget, is to cook from scratch. Surprisingly, it’s not as difficult as it sounds and it doesn’t have to be overly time consuming. If you create your meals from scratch, you’ll know exactly what’s in it and better able to avoid adding salt.

Safe Foods

There are many safe foods for a Low Sodium Meal. Fruits and Vegetables are always a safe choice when cooking or snacking. Also as previously mentioned, read product labels and watch for “Sodium Free”, “Very Low Sodium”, or “No Salt Added.” If you’re having problems getting started (or finding new creative ideas), perhaps consider getting a Low Sodium Cookbook.

Take a look at this Low Sodium Recipes website that focuses on quality health information and products. There are over 2,200 Low Sodium Recipes, as well as tips, newsletters, and free brand name products.