What is it?
A healthy adult requires between 1500 and 2400 milligrams of sodium for one day, but most of the people end up consuming more than 3000 mg of sodium per day. Even just one teaspoon of salt includes approximately 2300 mg of sodium, and a particular item from a fast food centre can have almost as much for example, a KFC chicken pot pie contains 2160 mg. Excess sodium is connected with hypertension (see the dash diet) and probably other unwanted conditions for a minority of the population, some groups are looking for methods to keep their sodium intake under control. An acute sodium overdose may also cause immediate medical symptoms, such as cracked, nausea, bleeding lips and in extreme cases, death.
For those with liver, heart, or kidney disease, the suggested daily intake of sodium is 2000 milligrams or less. One teaspoon of salt comprises about 2,000-2,400 mg of sodium. That is excess than you need in a whole day.
This guide provides basic information to help you start or continue following your low-sodium diet. Here are some basic guidelines that will help you get started.
- Control the sodium in your diet. Decrease the total amount of sodium you consume to 2,000 mg (2 g) for one day.
- Give importance to read food labels. Use the label information on food packages to help you to make the best low-sodium selections.
- Include high-fiber foods such as vegetables, cooked dried peas and beans (legumes), cereals, pasta, whole-grain foods, rice, bran and fresh fruit.
- Preserve a healthy body weight. This comprises losing weight if you are overweight. Control your total daily calories, follow a low-fat diet and exercise regularly to achieve or keep your ideal body weight.
- Try to avoid processed foods. Fresh produce meat and freshwater fish are typically salt-free or extremely low sodium, while processed restaurant foods, such as frozen dinners and soups are usually quite large in sodium.
- Dilute sodium in foods. If you do buy high sodium products, such as soups, one better method to decrease the sodium level is dilution.
- Throw the salt shaker away. By not using salt when cooking or eating, many people can reduce their sodium intake by 30%. You can replace the salt shaker with a pepper mill, garlic powder (not garlic salt), chili powder, rosemary, or other spices.
- Be careful of “softened” water. Water softeners sometimes add a considerable amount of sodium. Avoid drinking such water and instead use bottled water or a reverse osmosis filter.
- Drink a large quantity of fresh water. Water assists the body in many ways, and may help to eradicate excess sodium.
- Be careful what you drink. Many drinks are quite elevated in sodium, such as a small Burger King chocolate shake comprises 298 mg of sodium.
- Beware of medications include high amount of sodium. Many medicines contain sodium. While no prescription medicines should be terminated without consulting a physician, you may want to ask your doctor if any sodium-free or low sodium alternative meds are available.
What are the advantages of reducing your sodium?
Low-sodium diets are helpful in the managing of hypertension and in conditions in which sodium retention and oedema are prominent features, particularly chronic liver disease, congestive heart failure, and chronic renal failure. Sodium restriction is beneficial with or without diuretic therapy.
Low sodium diets are also advantageous in:
- Helping reducing the chances of heart disease
- Useful in reducing urinary output. Thiazides or indomethacin may also help reduce urinary output, though there are side effects to consider.
Sodium is not only present in a salt shaker, 75% of our salt intake comes from packed foods alone. Special low sodium foods are obtainable from many gourmet meat and foods suppliers.
As suggested, people between the ages of 19-50 may only take 1,500 mg sodium/salt, for ages 51-70 1,300 mg and for ages 71+ 1,200 mg. This strictly includes all salt or sodium intakes. That also counts sodium used in cooking and at the table.