Low Sodium Diet Recipe
Are you looking for helpful low sodium diet recipe tips? Following a doctor’s prescription for a low sodium diet plan may seem daunting at first, but with a few simple facts and techniques, you’ll soon find that a blood-pressure management diet is fairly easy.
What is the connection between high blood pressure and sodium?
High blood pressure is a serious disease that:
- Affects the heart and cardiovascular systems.
- Increases the risk for coronary heart disease, the #1 killer in the U.S.
Because sodium is known to raise pressure within blood vessels, an integral part of the management of hypertension is to follow a low sodium diet plan.
Low sodium diet recipe tip #1 – CULTIVATE A CONSCIOUSNESS.
Sodium appears in almost all of the pre-packaged foods that we rely on for convenience, so it’s not surprising Americans consume three times the daily recommended intake of sodium. One “secret” to following a low sodium diet plan lies simply in cultivating a consciousness -- toward the ingredients you use in each low sodium diet recipe, and in the packaged products you buy to consume as they are. For example, did you know that one pickled olive contains more sodium than a whole pound of pasta?
Low sodium diet recipe tip #2 – FOOD LABELS ARE YOUR FRIEND.
An eternal vigilance toward food labels is essential when preparing a low sodium diet recipe. Common culprits include any food that has been processed, canned, or baked with baking soda; also soups and condiments. Scan labels for sodium content in each serving – be aware that many snack foods will have a smaller serving size than you thought! The small bag of chips that you thought was an “individual” size may actually contain 2 or more servings.
Low sodium diet recipe tip #3 – SKIP THE SALT SHAKER.
One good tip for those on a low sodium diet plan is to simply forego adding additional salt to your food. Sodium is essential for good health, but just one teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium—equivalent to a full day’s allotment! If you crave a salty taste, try a salt substitute, but beware, some do contain sodium (see tip #2)!
Low sodium diet recipe tip #4 – ADD A LITTLE SPICE.
Since salt is out of the question as a seasoning, consider some spicy alternatives. For variety, experiment with onions, garlic, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, black pepper or garlic powder. Try some ethnic specialties, such as Greek, Italian or Indian food; these types of foods offer plenty of variety through herbs and spices – not salt.
Additional low sodium diet plan tips:
- Exercise regularly to improve overall heart function and cardiovascular health. Try a new activity or sport, or enlist the support of a friend to help hold you accountable to your goals. Even a 30-minute walk squeezed into your lunch hour on a few days during the week is better than nothing!
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Both exercise and diet will help you to reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Try adding some resistance training to your exercise regimen; muscle burns more calories throughout the day than fat, so the more muscle you build, the more calories you are burning all the time – even when you are sitting still at your desk!
- Decrease alcohol consumption. Alcohol can also directly contribute to elevated blood pressure levels, so try to limit your intake of all types of alcohol, or eliminate it completely.
- Eat Potassium-rich foods. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, so get plenty of these good foods: bananas, spinach, zucchini, cantaloupe and potatoes.
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