Great article. I have eliminated most add salt from my diet, especially from the salt shaker, since my husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure. The only sodium I intentionally add is from hot sauce. I try to always choose low or no sodium canned goods or make my own. I also was very surprised how much sodium naturally occurs in foods. Who would think some veggies contain sodium.
I usually have between 1500 and 2500mg of sodium, but one day I had a can of the Smart Ones soups for lunch and a frozen dinner for dinner... and my sodium for that day was over 20,000mg!! I couldn't believe it!
Have been surprised or amazed at how much salt naturally is present in foods. My blood pressure was a bit high and the doctor said cut back on salt! When I began tracking it I was shocked. 95% of my cooking is scratch but now I know cheese is a salt mine and I do love cheese. Thanks for the good information.
Salt is such an important element in our diets and so easy to get too much. I ask a question on the Dr. Oz website about the possible danger of aluminum in antiperspirants, cooking utensils , foil etc. as related to Alzheimers. I was surprised when the answer came back that table salt had aluminum in it to prevent clumping. He recommended using SEA SALT which is free of that aditive, since some studies indicated a possible connection to Alzheimers and mental illness from aluminum derivities.
1/13/2010 11:10:53 AM
Lots of good info here. My biggest surprise was the amount of salt in Tomato products. The best policy is to make as much as possible from scratch. Another item I use is available in 99cent stores . When I ran out , I read the ingredients on the empty container and made my own...not perfect but perfectly good!
1/12/2010 8:36:15 AM
This article is so timely for me, as I just started tracking my sodium on my nutrition tracker. I don't have high blood pressure, but the last few times it was checked at the doctor's office it was higher than normal for me, so I decided to see just what my daily sodium intake was. Boy was I shocked! I normally consume at least 2,500 mg of salt, without adding salt to food and using salt free alternatives like Mrs. Dash. I found out that the main culprits are canned soup and packaged deli meats. I appreciate the tips for lowering sodium intake and will definitely stay away from processed foods and will prepare things like soups myself to control the sodium intake.
1/11/2010 12:13:21 PM
My biggest problem with salt is, as this article states, in the things I purchase. I know reading labels helps, and there is variety in the amounts of sodium per item, but it seems even the lowest amount is too high. I have an especially hard time with salad dressings.
For those looking for a less expensive alternative to commercially available products like "Mrs. Dash" try this recipe:
SALT SUBSTITUTE: 1 Tablespoon each: Ground Thyme, Dry Mustard, Onion Power, Garlic Powder, Paprika 1/2 Teaspoon: Ground White Pepper
1/11/2010 1:27:22 AM
It's really easy to make your own salsa to lower sodium. using fresh tomatoes and peppers as a base. However, if you have to use canned tomato products or pickled jalapenos, check the salt content on them and try to find a product with the lowest level. I'm happy that this article makes the point that it's not the salt shaker or salt added by you that is the problem; it's the sodium in the products we buy and really can't "taste". Cheese also has high sodium.
I do not salt, Mrs. Dash is salt free and I use a lot of lemon and lime for salad dressings, however, I love cheese and had not idea that there is a lot of salt in cheese. It was suggested to use mustard vs mayo for tuna, egg salad, etc. which is the better of the two for salt content. Will have to check that out in my refrigerator. Thanks for the e-mail.
Never could find a salt shaker with smaller holes, but I used to use a pepper shaker which has FEWER holes. The other method I have used is to measure / weigh the salt, so I now how much I'm actually putting on there -- just like food logging -- it is surprising how easy it is to limit something when you actually *see* what you're doing.
1/10/2010 4:26:44 PM
i am so glad to see an article about using less salt. i have been doing this for years and i feel much better. low blood pressure runs in the family, but i can't stand all the salt that family members put in the food. i love cooking my own meals because i can limit how much salt doesn't go in the food, very little goes in.
Exactly, Angel. Salt is one of those things that we need--helps our muscles operate the way they should--but it has to be in moderation, as with everything else. And while I'm working on the weight loss, I have to remember that 'water follows salt' and watch my intake so I don't retain fluids. (I learned that little hint in nursing school! It makes it a little easier to explain to the little old ladies why they need their 'water pill'! LOL)
In general the article is accurate. However, some people have a genuine need for more salt, as I learned when my mom was rushed to the hospital with an acute sodium shortage. She was showing signes of dementia, forgetting, falling, talking nonsense -- and so on. After a previous heart surgery, she had been told to cut out all added salt. But her body needed the salt, and over time her sodium was depleted to a point that her brain couldn't function. She now has to take three salt pills every day! Yuck! So -- it is important to have your sodium levels checked by a doctor before totally eliminating salt.
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