Popular Diets
Low Sodium Diet

A low sodium diet is one including from 2 to 3 thousand milligrams (mg) of sodium per day...

Low Sodium Cookbook

Low sodium cookbook in popular diets

No shortage of delicious recipes for low sodium dieters.

(One teaspoon of salt is approximately 2.3 thousand milligrams of sodium.) For people following a vigorous or moderate exercise schedule the recommended sodium intake limit is 3 thousand milligrams per day. People who have suffered moderate to severe heart failure are usually advised to limit their sodium intake to 2 thousand mg per day. Putting these figures in perspective, the typical adult daily sodium requirement is 5 hundred mg less than one-tenth of typical, uncontrolled sodium consumption.

Sodium occurs naturally in most foods. Its most common form is sodium is chloride, table salt. Foods that naturally contain sodium include milk, beets, and celery. Even drinking water contains sodium; the amount depends on the source. Sodium is added to many foods. Fast foods are often rich in sodium, even as they lack nutrients. I just checked the packaging of Japanese Rice Cracker snacks that I really like. They contain 150 mg of sodium per 30 gram (half cup) serving.

Sodium is also added to various food products in the form of monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrite, sodium saccharin, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and sodium benzoate among others. Processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, and ham, and canned soups and vegetables all contain added sodium as do a wide variety of condiments and seasonings.

The body requires sodium and a shortage of sodium will eventually affect your health adversely. All body fluids, including blood, sweat, and tears, contain sodium. Sodium ions comprise the vast majority of bloodís basic ions. Because sodium retains water excessive sodium ions cause the body's blood volume to expand. At the same time excessive sodium may constrict tiny arteries called arterioles. So too much sodium makes your heart work harder forcing it to push more blood through constricted blood channels. These are only some of the reasons that a low sodium diet is recommended for people with the following medical conditions: cirrhosis of the liver, congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney disease, and others.

Herbs and spices in popular diets

Get to know your herbs and spices and you'll never miss the salt.

The first rule in following a low sodium diet is to cut down on processed and snack foods such as pretzels, crackers, cured meats, and frozen dinners. Buy foods labeled low sodium but make sure to check the label carefully. Many healthy sounding words are meaningless. Break the salt-shaker habit; donít add salt to your food. Once you learn about herbs and spices you wonít miss the salt at all. Make your meals from scratch; the more food is processed the more likelihood that sodium has been added.

Return to Popular Diets Ė Weight Loss, Nutrition, and Fitness Page


Access our International Wine Site

Access our Italian Travel Articles Page