Tip: What is meant by a “Low Sodium” Diet?

20 Jul

Many of our aging clients are on a “low-sodium” diet, but what exactly does this mean? How much sodium should a healthy individual consume? To answer some of these questions please look at the following facts and recommendations from The Cleveland Clinic:

Sodium is a mineral found in many foods. It helps keep normal fluids balanced in the body. Most people eat foods containing more sodium than they need. Some foods may be high in sodium and not taste salty. 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 (edema). A low-sodium diet also can help decrease breathing difficulties caused when the weakened heart has difficulty pumping excess fluid out of the body.

  • Control the sodium in your diet. Decrease the total amount of sodium you consume to 2,000 mg (2 g) per day.
  • Learn 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), whole-grain foods, bran, cereals, pasta, rice and fresh fruit. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant food that helps move food along the digestive tract, better controls blood glucose levels, and may reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. Foods high in fiber include natural antioxidants, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The goal for everyone is to consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. This includes losing weight if you are overweight. Limit your total daily calories, follow a low-fat diet and exercise regularly to achieve or maintain your ideal body weight.
  • Low sodium = 140 mg or less per serving
  • No sodium = less than 5 mg per serving
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