February 08, 2014

Low Sodium Diet

      Main source of sodium is table salt. Your body needs only 1/4 teaspoon of salt every day. Sodium is found naturally in foods, but a lot of it is added during processing and preparation. Many foods that do not taste salty may still be high in sodium. Large amounts of sodium can be hidden in canned, processed and convenience foods. And sodium can be found in many foods that are served at fast food restaurants.


Functions of Sodium


  • Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels of nerve signaling. 
  • Sodium is used to control blood pressure and blood volume. 
  • It is also needed for proper functioning of muscles and nerves.

General Guidelines for Cutting Down on Salt

  • Eliminate salty foods from your diet and reduce the amount of salt used in cooking. Sea salt is no better than regular salt.
  • Choose low sodium foods. Many salt-free or reduced salt products are available. When reading food labels, low sodium is defined as 140 mg of sodium per serving.
  • Salt substitutes are sometimes made from potassium, so read the label. If you are on a low potassium diet, then check with your doctor before using those salt substitutes.
  • Be creative and season your foods with spices, herbs, lemon, garlic, ginger, vinegar and pepper. Remove the salt shaker from the table.
  • Read ingredient labels to identify foods high in sodium. Items with 400 mg or more of sodium are high in sodium. High sodium food additives include salt, brine, or other items that say sodium, such as monosodium glutamate.
  • Eat more home-cooked meals. Foods cooked from scratch are naturally lower in sodium than most instant and boxed mixes.
  • Don’t use softened water for cooking and drinking since it contains added salt.
  • Avoid medications which contain sodium such as Alka Seltzer and Bromo Seltzer.

Source

                 UCSF medical center
                 Picture


No comments:

Post a Comment