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SONICB Posts: 4,381
2/24/13 12:35 P

Most days that I actually take in fewer than 2300 mg of sodium are days in which I eat mostly unprocessed foods--fresh fruits & veggies, home-cooked meals from scratch, etc. You can check out for homemade recipes for granola bars, bread, and other snacks that you generally buy pre-packaged. This should lower your sodium intake significantly.

ANARIE Posts: 13,192
2/19/13 5:11 P

Another way to help yourself feel better about the "I don't have time" issue is to pay yourself for your time instead of paying someone else. I use the example of bread. I've made my own bread for years. In half an hour of active work time, I can make two (or more) loaves of artisan-style whole-grain bread that would cost me $5 each in a bakery or natural foods store. If I use the most expensive flour I can find, the ingredients will cost me about $3. That means I saved $7 and put in a half-hour's work. If a penny saved is a penny earned, I earned $14 an hour, tax free, for work I can do in my pajamas. If I shop around and get the ingredients for less, I can save/earn up to $17 an hour. Making my own yogurt earns me about $30/hour. I imagine that homemade granola bars would be in the $30 range as well, if you make a large batch so your time is used efficiently. If you put aside the money you save (or just keep track of it), you develop a whole new respect for yourself and the value of what you do.

And if you cut down sodium to the point where you can reduce or eliminate the medications, that's a HUGE savings/earning. Put that money aside for a super-special vacation or a new car or something!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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Posts: 9,717
2/19/13 2:48 P

You definitely need to be measuring. The odds are you are overeating (since when we eyeball it, only 11% of us have an accurate idea of what we're eating.) If you're guessing, you're likely not accurate at all.

You always need to compare the nutrition info to your package. Many of the entries in the database are inaccurate, or entered by users with mistakes or outdated information. Many people don't even enter all the information!

Break out your measuring cups and scales... you'll be glad you did!

POOFERSGRL SparkPoints: (9,871)
Fitness Minutes: (28,400)
Posts: 91
2/19/13 9:57 A

Thank you for your input. I buy frozen chinese, and yes, we don't eat veggies. I will try and do better with that. I like the frozen ones, less sodium. =) I log my food based on what SP says, so not really sure that is correct since I don't measure my foods.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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Posts: 9,717
2/19/13 9:54 A

I'm not a super huge expert in this, but I can already see a few things to recommend.

1) You have no veggies at all. I went back a week! If it didn't come in a glass with your morning breakfast, you didn't get it. Veggies will add a lot of bulk WITHOUT the sodium intake.

2) You like chinese... that's good! Chinese is one of the easiest things in the world to cut sodium on. Those are insanely expensive in terms of per unit cost AND sodium content. Are you ordering from the restaurant, or using the freezer food? Depending on where you're looking, those have from 600-2000 mg a pop!

Making your own easy stir frys at home lets you control content, and generally tastes better, and it's super easy. I can throw some chicken, a package of frozen mixed veggies, and seasonings in a pan and have a complete meal in about 15 minutes. A little longer if I want to add rice to it.

3) Totino's pizza rolls aren't filling at all, and leave you with 760 mg of sodium per serving. MOre if you're like me and can't stop at once serving. Make your OWN pizza! Again, takes about the same amount of time (you always have to spread those toppings out anyway. Want a super yummy version? Try eggplant pizza! Gives you a serving (or more) of veggies, has a meaty texture, and is SO good. Not that adventurous? Go for crispy with a large tortilla, some spagetti sauce, mozzarella, and your choice of toppings (go easy on the meats, add more veggies!)

4) Tuna helper is another favorite of mine. It's also got more sodium in it than GOD. We're talking 900 per CUP. I can also tell you that if you're tracking 1.5 serving of that as 225 calories, you're vastly underestimating your calories. That stuff is almost 300 calories for one serving. 1.5 is 435 and over 1200 mg of sodium.

This one's an easy fix. Make your own! Use real cheese, add tuna, and it's JUST as good. For more nutritional punch (and color) add some frozen peas and carrots. (Usually les than a buck a bag.

Anyway, I've got to run to an appt, but there's my thoughts. You have similar eating habits to me, before I started making a big change in my life!

MARITIMER3 SparkPoints: (212,753)
Fitness Minutes: (120,381)
Posts: 9,442
2/19/13 9:43 A

I agree, keeping sodium under control is very difficult. The American Heart Assn. says no more than 1500 mg./day; my doctor says 2,500. I can usually stay within the 2500, but it means watching everything carefully.

SPOORK Posts: 1,193
2/19/13 9:38 A

I wouldn't consider fruit snacks healthy. Granola can be healthy depending on what brand you buy. Sodium is high in processed foods. If you cut back on processed foods and make things from scratch you really should not have a problem controlling your sodium intake.

POOFERSGRL SparkPoints: (9,871)
Fitness Minutes: (28,400)
Posts: 91
2/19/13 9:30 A

Ok everyone, I shared my nutrition page and my fitness page. Feedback would be greatly appreciated!!! THank you!!!

LLUNED Posts: 17
2/19/13 9:29 A

The food tracker here has been a real eye opener for me. I thought I was reasonably careful about sodium but I was way over the limit. The other surprise... potassium I am having a heck of a time getting enough potassium and guess what! potassium counteracts sodium. I now eat more fruit in a day than I used to eat in a week. Bananas are my new best friend. So is my slow cooker. Every week now I make a hearty homemade chunky soup with chopped up lean stewing beef, blue menu (so low sodium) beans, no salt added canned tomatoes and potassium rich potatoes. I have that for dinner several times a week because I have a lot of evening activities right now. I throw everything in the pot in the morning and dinner is ready when I get home. Don't even have to precook the beef. I think my husband and boys make sandwiches to go with their soup sometimes but I'm not here by then so it doesn't interfere with my goals.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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Posts: 9,717
2/19/13 9:14 A

I feel you on the lack of a large freezer. It's tough! But you can make use of the space you have.

Here's how you make your nutrition trackers public:

Here's how you make your Sparkpage itself available for us to see:

If you make your own goodies, you can enter the recipe itself into SparkRecipes and either save it, or just save the nutrition info in your favorites (I like to save the recipe in case I modify it.)

Here's that link:

POOFERSGRL SparkPoints: (9,871)
Fitness Minutes: (28,400)
Posts: 91
2/19/13 6:47 A

agreed....another question, how do I log food I make myself...ex; the granola bars, or anything if I don't have the nutrient info, like how many calories etc. Thank you

2/19/13 6:42 A

Only way to limit sodium is to control it yourself. Have you tried making your own granola bars? A lot of the healthy stuff you buy and you make yourself with a lower sodium content.

POOFERSGRL SparkPoints: (9,871)
Fitness Minutes: (28,400)
Posts: 91
2/19/13 6:24 A

wow thanks everyone. I guess it's more of an excuse...but also do need to watch the $$ but I think you are all right, I need to make time. Batch cooking, or cooking day of (before heading into work) and just place it in the fridge to just reheat in microwave for when I get home might be a good idea. I don't have a large

How do I make my info public? Thank you everyone for really opening my eyes.

KERI414 SparkPoints: (3,861)
Fitness Minutes: (2,091)
Posts: 12
2/19/13 2:35 A

Sodium is only a concern with factory-made foods and restaurant fare. Natural, whole foods contain very little sodium. I have no trouble staying under 1000 mg of sodium a day - try to include more unadulterated foods and you'll see a difference very quickly.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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Posts: 9,717
2/19/13 12:23 A

It can get expensive, if you aren't careful, but it doesn't have to be.

I have an honest question for you. You don't have to answer here, but this is something you need to ask yourself. Do you REALLY not have time for it, or do you simply not want to make it a priority? When something is important to us, we make time for it. Because you are already on BP meds, it's important that you start making time. Convenience foods are easy, but come at a steep price, a price you are already paying.

Instead of making a prepackaged stroganoff the other day, I made one from scratch in about the same amount of time. With a fraction of the sodium. Unless you are working 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week, you have time. Spending a day on the weekend (or whenever you have time off) batch cooking can save a lot of time and money, and cut your sodium in half. Using frozen meals? Make your own. Costs less in the long run!

Be honest with yourself. Do you not have time, or do you not want to spend the time? Is your heart important enough to take care of? Or not.

Your sparkpage and trackers are not public, so we can't really make suggestions based on what you're doing. If you'll consider sharing those? I bet you we can help you with simple, inexpensive alternatives to what you're eating now.

ILIKETOZUMBA SparkPoints: (129,920)
Fitness Minutes: (200,664)
Posts: 7,209
2/18/13 11:34 P

I hate that tons of sodium is in so much pre-packaged food at the store! It really does make it difficult to avoid excess sodium sometimes, BUT...there are increasingly a lot of no-salt-added options for things like peanut (or other nut) butter, canned vegetables, sauces, etc. And you might be surprised what other things come low sodium if you take the time to compare nutrition labels. Bread can be VERY high in sodium, but you can generally find one healthy option that is better than the others (for instance, for me, the best option for store-bought bread is Pepperidge Farm's Hearty Whole Wheat - 100 calories and 105mg sodium per slice; though maybe some of the lower-calorie breads might also be lower sodium, I'm not sure.)

I have to agree, though, that it actually would be cheaper to make your own stuff, like granola. Some things are going to be cheaper pre-packaged, but granola bars are definitely something you can make for less money and better nutrients on your own, without a huge time commitment. There's plenty of easy recipes on SP - basically, just stir together some oats, nuts and/or fruit, something sticky like honey or maple syrup, and voila - granola bars! If you take a little time to google fast and healthy snacks, you'll probably be able to find quick and easy recipes for throwing together inexpensive ingredients to make a variety of snack foods. If you do that, and if you're careful to compare labels when shopping at the store and you keep an eye out for no-salt-added or low-sodium options (Herb Ox makes a very good series of no-sodium bouillon flavors, for example), you shouldn't have tooooo much difficulty keeping your sodium low.

Edited by: ILIKETOZUMBA at: 2/18/2013 (23:42)
SMCS28 SparkPoints: (6,956)
Fitness Minutes: (6,417)
Posts: 165
2/18/13 7:41 P

making your own granola bars etc is actually cheaper than buying store made ones....

think of what you put in them, oats (a large bag is inexpensive and will make many many batches), nuts (again, inexpensive and many batches), etc....all the ingredients are cheap and will go a long way...

a box of granola bars can cost upwards of $3 a box for maybe 8 bars.....about 38 cents a bar....

POOFERSGRL SparkPoints: (9,871)
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Posts: 91
2/18/13 7:36 P

I really don't have much time to make home made stuff like granola and such plus isn't it expensive? I also don't like cottage don't eat a lot of salads although I love them. With my schedule making homemade stuff is difficult and can get expensive in my opinion. I am on meds for height BP so that is helping, but every day I am at like 2000 to 2300 of sodium no matter what...hmmm,

2/18/13 10:41 A

I try to find a balance between foods that have sodium vs. foods that do not (or have very little because it naturally occurs). For example, I love 1% reduced fat cottage cheese on my salad at lunch. Cottage cheese is high in sodium if you don't watch the portion. So, I limit myself to 1/2 cup but then am sure to not add other high sodium items. The cottage cheese acts as the dressing, and by adding other veggies, raw nuts, and plain lean protein, I keep my lunch salad to about 450mg of sodium. I try to eat about 1,500mg per day, but aim to rarely go over 2,000. I bloat like a whale when I OD on sodium!

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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Posts: 2,489
2/18/13 9:44 A

I wouldn't consider that kind of food "healthy". Store bought granola bars and fruit snacks are usually full of sugar, sodium and perservatives. Homemade with raw ingredients is healthier because you know exactly what's going into your food. I'd much rather eat actual, real fruit than fruit snacks that lack fibre and have added sugar/sodium.

Not saying I don't make exceptions but I mostly only buy whole, fresh foods and avoid the packaged stuff. I will *occasionally* buy Kashi granola bars when they're on sale because they're really yummy. But they always wind up sitting in my pantry for weeks because I feel guilty eating them. I also buy Blue Menu Omega 3's granola for my yogurt. But I eat mostly homemade or minimal processed/peserved foods that my sodium intake is typically no higher than 1500 mg a day.

CHEETARA79 Posts: 3,918
2/18/13 9:36 A

I think the lesson to learn here is that PROCESSED food contains a lot of sodium. Unprocessed foods like fresh vegetables, uncooked eggs, uncooked fish, etc. do not contain much naturally occurring sodium.

POOFERSGRL SparkPoints: (9,871)
Fitness Minutes: (28,400)
Posts: 91
2/18/13 6:50 A

It's frustrating that even so called "healthy" foods like granola bars,fruit snacks and such have so much in them. How is one supposed to watch their intake when even healthy stuff has it? lol I am watching it, but it's frustrating to say the

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