Low Sodium Diet: Guidelines and Food Menu

Low Sodium Diet

Low Sodium diet may be prescribed to some patients with medical conditions. A normal person should have 2,300 mg of sodium each day. Here we will discuss the guidelines for a low sodium diet.

Low Sodium Diet Food List
Low Sodium Diet Food List

Low Sodium Diet Definition

Sodium is a type of mineral which plays a vital role in balancing fluids in our body. It also affects your blood pressure and blood volume. It is naturally found in the food that we eat but its main resource is salt. However, people tend to have sodium overdose. We consume about 20 times more than what our body needs. For example, beef has already sodium but we add salt and pepper to it for taste. Processed foods are also high in sodium for preservation.

A high-sodium diet results in a problem in the lung, kidney, heart, and legs. This is when a doctor may prescribe you a low sodium diet which is less than 2,300 mg every day.   

General Rules

  • Avoid adding high-sodium seasonings such as onion salt, MSG, garlic salt, teriyaki sauce, BBQ sauce, and broth mixes.
  • Free your salad from salty ingredients like pickles, croutons, bacon bits, and pickle relish.
  • Replace American Heart Association’s Salty Six which includes
    • Bread and Rolls
    • Pizza- pizza toppings are high in sodium
    • Sandwiches (including burgers)- add 100% more sodium in your diet
    • Cold Cuts and Cured Meats- 2 oz. is already 1,150 mg of salt
    • Soup- 100 to 940 milligram of sodium
    • Burritos and Tacos- choose more vegetables than pure meat
  • Replace marinades with vinegar, orange, lemon, or lime to tenderize the meat.
  • For spices, substitute salt with herbs like thyme and oregano.
  • Cook more at home than dining outside or fast food.
  • Always check the sodium level of the products that you buy.

Diet Menu

Low Sodium alternative to High Sodium Meat, Poultry, and Fish

  • Fresh meat (lamb, beef, pork, fish and poultry)
  • Dry peas and beans but not canned
  • Drained canned chicken or fish
  • Low-sodium peanut butter

Low Sodium Dairy Products (Light and Skim)

  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Ice Cream
  • Low-Sodium cheese (cream cheese, ricotta, and mozzarella)

Low-Sodium Bread, Grains and Cereals

  • Low-sodium bagel, bread, and rolls
  • Rice and pasta (no salt when cooked)
  • Low-sodium tortillas, noodles, crackers, and breadsticks
  • Popcorn, pretzels, and healthy chips (unsalted)

Low-Sodium Fruits and Vegetables

  • Fresh, canned, or dried fruits
  • Vegetable but do not add sauce
  • Tomato juice (low-sodium)
  • Fresh or mashed potato

Is it dangerous?

Low blood sodium is called hyponatremia wherein sodium in your blood gets too low. This imbalance can cause too much water in the blood. Worse case of hyponatremia can cause coma, seizure, and death. This is why a doctor should only prescribe a low sodium diet. You should not begin it without clearance from your physician.

Do you always get edema or you feel you have too much liquid in your body? Maybe you should consult your doctor and ask if you need to go on a low sodium diet.

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