Happy Herbivore Blog

Low Sodium Diet Guidelines

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

Hi Herbies! I got this email last week from my Dad, and wanted to share it with you. Since his heart attack he has been paying more attention to what he is eating, and reading more about food and health. Here is what he has learned recently about sodium;

Today I was at the Carolina Cardiology Consultants office to get a 6 month sonogram for my aneurism to see if its growing (turned out ok). I picked up a few paper handout sheets about the heart and various related topics and one was "Low Sodium Diet Guidelines." They have a long list of recommendations, and restaurant tips too.

Here is what it says;

Sodium is a mineral found in many foods. It helps keep normal fluids balanced in the body. Most people eat foods with more sodium than they need. Eating too much sodium causes the body to keep or retain too much water. Following a low sodium diet helps control high blood pressure (hypertension), swelling, and water build-up. A low sodium diet can help decrease breathing difficulties.

A low sodium diet means more than just eliminating the salt shaker from the table!

Mom & I looked at the sodium content of some products, particularly canned soups and a few other things. After last week some of the literature I have gotten suggests recommended sodium intake of 1500mg of sodium per day. Note - one teaspoon of salt is about 2300mg of sodium!

So needless to say we are looking at every single label of everything and its astonishing.

We threw out the bottle of soy sauce which we had, and bought the low sodium version you recommend in your cookbooks, with the difference being 570mg vs 980mg! Also as equally important because of the serving size or mg/serving controlling the portion is important. ( I used to pour a lot on some Asian dishes).

One thing the article said is to "avoid pickles". So I went to our fridge and looked at the bread & butter pickles, it said only 110mg of sodium per serving. Guess what the serving size was?!? 3 pickle slices! Sometimes I would eat as many as 8+, so again portion control.

Attached to the articles was a sheet of seasoning recipes. Below are a few that were listed:

Saltless Surprise

  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp powdered lemon rind or dehydrated lemon juice

Spicy Seasoning

  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander seed, crushed
  • 1 tbsp rosemary

Hope I didn't bore you. I thought all this was pretty interesting!

Dad, you are not boring. I think it is great that you are learning and want to share all this with us too.

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