Click to enlargeLow Sodium Diet Tips

Low Sodium Diet Tips

To prepare low sodium diets (tips listed below) choose low salt foods. The National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM), which advises the U.S. government about recommend levels of nutrients, has established new standards for the intake of sodium and potassium. The typical American diet is deficient in potassium and laden with too much salt, panel members concluded. They recommended lowered levels of sodium intake. The new guidelines define a range of daily sodium intakes with 1,500 mg for people between the ages of 19-50 deemed adequate for good health and 2,300 mg (one teaspoon) the maximum you can consume without possibly increasing your risk of high blood pressure. The new guideline recommends 1,300 mg for ages 51-70 and 1,200 mg for ages 71+. That includes ALL salt/sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table.

For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise eating less salt/sodium, as recent research has shown that people consuming diets of 1,500 mg of sodium had even better blood pressure lowering benefits. These lower-sodium diets also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work better.

It is estimated that currently men consume 4,582 mg and women consume 3,096 mg per day.

Dietary sodium is measured in milligrams (mg). One teaspoon of salt contains 2,400 mg of sodium.

Sea salt and other designer salts contain the same amount of sodium as ordinary table salt.

Throw away your salt shaker. Use AlsoSalt at the table to season your food.

Choose fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables without added salt.

Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned or processed types.

Avoid ham, bacon, and sausage.

Always read food labels and do the math. The sodium content on the nutritional panel is based on the number of servings the package states. Example: a can of soup may say 770 mg of sodium but bases that number on 2.5 servings. 770 x 2.5 = 1,925 mg of sodium in that can of soup.

Cook and bake with AlsoSalt. Substitute AlsoSalt wherever salt is called for in a recipe.

Cut back on instant or flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes, which usually have added salt.

Avoid salty snack foods (pretzels, potato chips, salted nuts, olives, cheeses, pickles).

Choose "convenience" foods that are lower in sodium. Cut back on frozen dinners, pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups or broths, sauces, gravies, and salad dressings. These often have a lot of sodium.

Recognize these words that indicate a high sodium content: pickled, smoked, marinated, teriyaki, soy sauce, broth, au jus.

Rinse canned foods, such as tuna, to remove some sodium.

Cook from scratch. De-emphasize the use of processed foods.

When available, buy low or reduced sodium, or no salt added versions of foods. You can add AlsoSalt to replace the salty flavor.

Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that are lower in sodium.

Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which are low in sodium.

Use a kitchen scale. If you are counting milligrams of sodium and need to calculate the weight of food to determine the sodium count, you'll love having a scale.

Buy products low in sodium, MSG, baking soda and other sodium-containing compounds (listed below).

Take note of the sodium content of your favorite condiments, particularly meat tenderizer, steak sauce, soy sauce, salsa, and catsup.

Take AlsoSalt with you when dining out at a restaurant or a friend's home to sprinkle on your food.

Sodium compounds to avoid:
  • Salt (sodium chloride): Used in cooking or at the table; used in canning and preserving.
  • Monosodium glutamate (also called MSG): A seasoning used in home, restaurant and hotel cooking and in many packaged, canned and frozen foods.
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate): Sometimes used to leaven breads and cakes; sometimes added to vegetables in cooking; used as alkalizer for indigestion. 1 teaspoon of baking soda contains 1,000 mg (1 gram) of sodium.
  • Baking powder: Used to leaven quick breads and cakes.

  • Other sodium compounds include:
  • Disodium phosphate: Found in some quick-cooking cereals and processed cheeses.
  • Sodium alginate: Used in many chocolate milks and ice creams to make a smooth mixture.
  • Sodium benzoate: Used as a preservative in many condiments such as relishes, sauces and salad dressings.
  • Sodium hydroxide: Used in food processing to soften and loosen skins of ripe olives and certain fruits and vegetables.
  • Sodium nitrite: Used in cured meats and sausages.
  • Sodium propionate: Used in pasteurized cheese and in some breads and cakes to inhibit growth of molds.
  • Sodium sulfite: Used to bleach certain fruits such as maraschino cherries and glazed or crystallized fruits that are to be artificially colored; also used as a preservative in some dried fruits such as prunes.

  • Look for the sodium content in medications:

    Over-the-counter drugs: Some over the counter drugs contain lots of sodium. Make a habit of carefully reading the labels of all over the counter drugs. Look at the ingredients list and warning statements to see if sodium is listed. A statement of sodium content must appear on labels of antacids containing 5 milligrams (5 mg) or more per dosage unit (tablet, teaspoon). Some companies produce low sodium over the counter products. If in doubt, ask your physician or pharmacist if the drug is appropriate for you.

    Prescription drugs: Consumers canít know whether a prescription drug contains sodium. Ask your physician or pharmacist about the sodium content of prescription drugs. NEVER stop taking your medication without checking with your doctor.


    Click to enlarge
    Heinz No Salt Added Ketchup made with AlsoSalt

    Click to enlarge
    Heinz No Salt Added Ketchup made with AlsoSalt