Welcome Jen! Sorry to hear of your health issues, though this is definitely a team who is here to help. We have a lot of wonderful and insightful memebers who are constantly on the look out for new ideas, products, etc. that are low sodium.
A recommended sodium intake for most people is 2300 mg of sodium per day, but that is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. We strive to keep somewhere between 1500 and 2000 mg a day, as a goal.
One of the best things to do is pre-plan your meals a day ahead of time and enter them into the tracker. That way you can see if you are about to go over on the sodium and tweak the meals to make your sodium a little lower for the day. The other really great thing to do is start reading every label as some things you wouldn't think has sodium in it, does!
Processed, canned, pre-packaged, frozen, convenience, breads, mixes, and so on....all have sodium. When watching calories, beware of the words Light and Lite in the title, as it usually means lower fat, cholesterol and carbs, but higher in sodium to make up for the lack of taste.
Cooking from scratch is a really great option where you can control the sodium content in food. Fresh herbs, salt substitutes, garlic, onion, peppers, carrots, and flavorful veggies are all great ways to season foods. There are a lot of great canned items out there that have no salt added, they are few and far between but some grocery stores are now carrying them, along with some health food stores and the internet.
Breads are an area where sodium is high and you wouldn't think it would be. But, there are other options, such as the no sodium breads and low sodium varities. Our store carries it in the freezer section, not the best tasting stuff in the world, but not bad. There is also a Peppridge Farm Light Style Bread, that is low carb and has one of the lowest sodium counts I have found for bread that is not half bad.
As for canned veggies, rinse them in a sieve under running water and that can help reduce anywhere from 40 to 50% of the sodium. In terms of meat, beef is not that big on salt, unless it is pre-made hamburger patties and such. Though chicken, turkey and pork sometimes have a water solution added to enhance flavor and it is loaded with sodium. The labels will reflect this addition.
I could keep going on and on about so many wonderful ways to cut salt, but need to go for now. There are a ton of great posts on here, so please feel free to check them out and jump right in with any thoughts, ideas, questions, suggestions, etc. when you feel ready. We look forwad to seeing you in the posts!
Member of Living Healthy with Insulin Resistance/Low GI Diet Team
Member of Lowering Salt Intake Team
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