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With a Grain of Salt

Saturday, May 05, 2012

After two weeks of tracking all of my food I'm getting a pretty good handle on the calories, carbs, even fat most of the time. The one thing I'm struggling with getting under control is my sodium. I'm finding that in our society, even when eating a healthy balanced diet it is almost impossible to stay below or even close to the Recommended Daily Allowance of sodium each day. I tend to have double the amount.
I know that eating fresh helps the most, but I don't believe that most of us eat only fruits and veggies everyday. One packaged or processed food generally seems to be enough to send me shooting over the edge. It's no wonder my blood pressure had gotten so out of control. I wasn't watching what I was eating back the so my sodium intake was probably triple what it is now.
I have decided that for now I am going to be ok with the numbers I'm eating.. ALL of them. I am getting results, I am eating healthier, and I am ok with that. I know that trying to make any further drastic changes to my nutrition is only going to be too overwhelming.
I appreciate any suggestions; however I'm pretty well set on the fact that short of eliminating all foods which are processed and I'm not completely ready to fully become a rabbit.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for the post. I to was awakened by the amount of salt I am putting into my body, especially since I do not salt anything. Ok I do salt my corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes, but in general I try to not salt anything due to the salt content in most processed food. Salt, the original preservative. I appreciate seeing others in the same boat as I, very motivational to make sure I track what I need to in order to lose this dreaded extra weight.
    2169 days ago
    For me, I haven't had to resort to eating like a rabbit, though I am vegetarian on a plant-based whole foods diet.

    I make my own "lean cuisines". I cook large amounts over the weekend of whole-wheat pasta and brown rice dishes and soups and place them in individual containers. Refrigerate some and freeze others. Not only is it better when you control the ingredients that goes into your prepared foods, it also makes it a lot less expensive.
    2233 days ago
    Sodium is a hard one for sure. I agree there are only so many things you can try to change and monitor at once. I think it's when people try and go to 100% perfect nutrtion 100% of the time that they find it easy to get discouraged. You have some good suggestions here already, so I don't have any to add!
    2235 days ago
    Thanks for the tips Amber. I will definitely try to incorporate these things into my planning and nutrition! :)
    2236 days ago
    If you buy canned veggies, consider draining & rinsing them. They often have salt added and rinsing & draining can help. Beware of bottled and canned drinks, sodas, diet sodas, thirst quenchers and vitamin water usually have sodium added to them. Remember that most of those bottles & cans are more then one serving. Processed meats also have lots of salt. If you are using cold cuts, look for reduced sodium ones, also watch out for the sodium in grain products like bread. Consider buying lettuce like iceberg or romaine leafs to wrap your sandwich fixings and save the calories, salt and carbs the 2 slices of bread would have inflicted on your diet.

    I am lucky in that I actually need to salt my food for my health, but I have some family members that are salt sensitive and they were shocked to see where all the sodium lurked. A lunch of canned soup, ham & turkey sandwich and diet soda was nearly a days worth of salt. Even just the sandwich & diet soda = 0ver 900 mg sodium. Switching to a roasted chicken breast with tomato and a bit of mayo wrapped in a lettuce leaf and green tea w/stevia dropped it under 150 mg of salt. Throw in an apple and you still keep that sodium low emoticon Just play detective and look for tasty, healthy substitutions. emoticon
    2237 days ago
    Thanks Ladies! Your comments are helpful and encouraging. I'm going to keep trying to do my best to make better choices. Thanks! :)
    2237 days ago
  • GUNNSGIRL91303
    Baby steps work so well! Remember, the tortoise won the race. I say it all the time and folks are probably tired of hearing it but that is my mantra and it is SO true! Keep doing what you are doing and the weight will come off. Sodium is a tough one. I don't eat (much) processed food but it took several years for me to get to this point. Plus I am unemployed so have plenty of time to plan and fix good meals. I think you are doing great so just stay the course! emoticon emoticon
    2237 days ago
    One step at a time. It took me a while to stop eating processed foods and now I can't imagine eating them.

    My recommendation would be to look at the lowest sodium options. I did this with my husband because of his medical needs. We don't deprive them, we just check the alternatives and he gets the lowest sodium one, this works great with pizzas as Amy's pizza is all natural and has a way lower sodium then the others.

    Good luck!

    2237 days ago
    Yes I use Mrs. Dash everyday. I hardly ever pick up the salt shaker. Processed and frozen foods are my hang up, even in moderation. I suppose I just have to continue modifying what I eat. Thanks for your comment! :)
    2237 days ago
    How about using Mrs. Dash? It comes in many flavors and you can use it on anything.
    As far as processed and frozen foods I can only say...MODERATION!
    2237 days ago
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