You may think that you’re following a low sodium diet because you don’t cook with salt or add it at the table. However, this is far from the truth!
Did you know?…
1. Salt is made up of 40% sodium and 60% chloride.
2. About 75% of the sodium that we eat is hidden in processed food such as soups, frozen dinners, pizza, and bread.
3. Only about 15% of our daily salt intake comes from the salt shaker. 10% is found naturally in substances like milk.
4. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) or fluid retention (edema). High blood pressure causes no aches or pains and no symptoms. You should have your blood pressure checked periodically by a health care professional. If your blood pressure is found to be elevated, your personal physician can monitor it and determine appropriate intervention. Often, a low salt diet is all that’s needed to do the trick.
5. Read labels for sodium content. Keep in mind that the American Heart Association recommends an intake of no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. To keep this in perspective, a teaspoon of table salt is 2,400 mg of sodium.
6. As a general rule, there is sodium in everything, except fresh fruits and vegetables, so add it up. Beware: many fat free foods are very high in sodium.
7. Be very careful with salt substitutes than contain potassium in lieu of sodium. If you are already taking a potassium supplement, like KCL, be careful and check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute. You may throw off your body’s potassium (or electrolyte) balance.
8. Use spices such as garlic, pepper, and onion. Be careful about the word “salt” after these spices. Garlic salt and garlic powder are not one in the same, so buy the powder instead.