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Sodium Control (or lack thereof)



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JMFWIFE
SparkPoints: (9,685)
Fitness Minutes: (1,523)
Posts: 49
2/21/13 8:51 P

Thank you so much everyone! I am going to start paying closer attention to the foods I choose in the tracker. I don't salt my foods, but have a special place in my heart for feta. Since it is so big in flavor, maybe a half serving will do. The numbers are just shocking to see when I feel like I'm being so careful.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,801
2/21/13 4:04 P

one other thing to note is that the three big things that flavor food are fat, salt and sugar. a general rule is that when foods say they are low in one of those things, the other two will be higher than in the regular version.

and one of the biggest things that helped me with sodium was making sure that i was tracking what i was buying and not the closest thing to it that was already in the tracker. when i first started tracking, my sodium was through the roof. so i started eating more beans and my sodium kept going even higher. which baffled me because i was cooking my beans from dried and they had somewhere around 50 mg per serving. which is how i learned that the ready to eat beans in the tracker are canned and every time i had a serving [around 50 by the way i was making them] the tracker entry was adding something like 340-500 mg sodium instead. while that took out a huge chunk of the sodium issue, the other thing i found was that when i was using the austin's crackers that were already in the tracker instead of the store brand i was buying that i was adding an extra 5-10 mg sodium than i was actually getting. it doesn't seem like a lot by itself, but that was also true for around another 20 items i was eating, which makes it a 100-200 mg sodium issue. so it really adds up.

if you want to make the easiest changes after that, start by running the nutrition report at the bottom of the tracker. this will give you a sodium column. then look for your three biggest numbers and work on reducing them this week. next week you can tackle the three biggest again. the easiest route to do this is to do one of the following:
1. eat less of the food. if something has 1000 mg in a serving, if you only have half a serving, that's half the sodium. it also works by cutting out teaspoons, Tablespoons, 1/8 cups. a little less means less sodium.
2. buy a different brand or flavor. there can be a huge difference in sodium. pasta sauce, for example can be as little as 150 for a chunky veggie or almost 1000 for a parmesan. spending five minutes reading the labels in the store can be a huge sodium saver
3. eat something else entirely. if your cottage cheese is too high, perhaps have hummus and veggies. or a glass of milk. or peanut butter and an apple.



BUNNYKICKS
Posts: 2,295
2/21/13 3:26 P

Check the sodium content of the salad dressings you are using. Some of the bottled dressings can be awfully high.

Yes feta and cottage cheese have a fair bit of sodium but they are still good food choices. However when using a salty ingredient like feta, just don't also use the salt shaker during recipe prep or at the table.

Cured meats (i.e. ham, pepperoni) are high in sodium, so use sparingly or make your sandwich with something like leftover roast chicken instead.

Yes those restaurant items can be shocking - the pizza, the wings - but hey, you can still budget your calories/sodium ranges to include such items in your eating plan from time to time.



LUCKINLOVE
Posts: 216
2/21/13 3:19 P

Just from looking at your Today, I quickly see a few sodium-rich entries:

cottage cheese
bread
store bought salad dressing
feta cheese

My suggestion is try to limit yourself to only a couple higher sodium items each day. For me, my cottage cheese IS my salad dressing on my salad at lunch, but I only use 1/2 cup because that stuff has so much sodium. Bread is sneaky, but sodium's in it.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,424)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,587
2/21/13 3:05 P

Depends on how you seasoned them. If you used a pre-entered entry, it may have an inflated amount of sodium. Enter the chicken recipe you used in Sparkrecipes.com on the recipe calculator, and it should tell you what yours is.



JMFWIFE
SparkPoints: (9,685)
Fitness Minutes: (1,523)
Posts: 49
2/21/13 2:11 P

I think I just made my nutrition tracker public. And it took me a minute to find out how to look up the sodium numbers for each of the foods I eat. I try to avoid the frozen dinners like the plague. Kinda shocked that chicken breasts I seasoned and roasted myself (not the frozen solution injected kind) could be 900+ mg of sodium. I figured that was safe emoticon And I know the cottage cheese is high, but I get minimum calcium since I don't like milk. Tonight I will have greek yogurt with dinner to get the rest.



DIETITIANBECKY
Posts: 26,528
2/21/13 2:00 P

If you are tracking sodium, your nutrition tracker will show which foods are adding the most sodium to your diet. Is it a high sodium soup at lunch? A stir-fry frozen meal? Where are you seeing large amounts of sodium entering in your food intake for the day?

Dietitian Becky



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,424)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,587
2/21/13 1:56 P

For starters, consider sharing your nutrition trackers publicly. We can take a look and provide specific advice.

In general, though, you look to two places for your biggest sodium offenses:

Restaurants of any kind (seriously, some dishes in restaurants can pack as much as 1-2,000 or more!) and any kind of prepackaged anything. Some of us go for the healthy frozen dinner section, but they're so loaded with sodium that you bloat for days.

The best way to control sodium is to avoid things with labels. Also do your grocery shopping on the outside perimeter of the store. Make your own food; avoid prepackaged, canned, or bagged when possible. Make your own homemade versions of the stuff you enjoy!



JMFWIFE
SparkPoints: (9,685)
Fitness Minutes: (1,523)
Posts: 49
2/21/13 1:49 P

Okay. So I decided to start tracking my sodium and I think that may have been a huge mistake (brings me down/defeated). Usually by lunch, I am over in my sodium intake. I like to think I eat healthy. My coworkers love poking fun at me because I eat healthy, but this sodium sneaks up on me Ninja style and I don't know where from or how? Can someone tell me what in the world I need to look out for? I mean, how much healthier can I eat? The rest of my nutrition feedback is groovy... Thanks, friends!!



 
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