LOW SODIUM DIET TIPS

Below is an extensive list of useful tips on low sodium diet.

  1. Do not add salt to your meals.
  2. Add spices instead of salt such as black pepper, cayenne pepper and oregano.
  3. Always choose fresh foods over their processed, packaged versions.
  4. Be patient. Your taste buds get used to low sodium foods. In fact, after few months many "regular" meals will taste too salty.
  5. Cook at home rather than eating out.
  6. Cook with fresh foods instead of packaged, canned products such as canned soups, beans and frozen meals.
  7. If you purchase packaged foods, look for labels that read reduced sodium, low sodium, no added salt, heart healthy etc...
  8. Even after getting low sodium products, watch for how many serving sizes you consume. For instance, kids can eat an entire package of cookies, which are usually low sodium per serving but the package includes many servings!
  9. Regardless of presence of these labels on food packaging, ALWAYS read nutrition facts of the food products you purchase.
  10. Bookmark a nutrition facts site on your computer or cell phone.
  11. Make sure the sodium content of a food product is less than 200 mgs (milligrams) per serving. For stricter diets, limit this number to 140 mgs.
  12. Check if a food product includes MSG (monosodium glutamate) or other sodium based food additives. Soy and teriyaki sauces (even low sodium versions) tend to have a lot of MSG.
  13. Avoid salt substitutes unless you know the effects of their ingredients on your body.
  14. Ask your waiter not to add salt to your meals.
  15. Study which restaurants serve meals lower in sodium and make a list of meals you can order at these restaurants. Keep the list in your wallet/purse/cell phone.
  16. Avoid large portions, salad dressings, creamy sauces, and gravies on your meals.
  17. Ask all extras on the side when you eat out.
  18. If you are at a restaurant that typically serves huge portions, order appetizers or side dishes instead of an entree. Use to-go boxes.
  19. Drink plenty of water.
  20. Consume a lot of potassium. Potassium works as a cleaning, balancing agent for sodium in your body. Bananas, orange juice, avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod and chicken include potassium.
  21. Always cook extra to store for later. Hunger attacks cause us to eat the first thing we can get hold of, which is usually not healthy.
  22. Make your own salad dressing. Use lime, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar.
  23. Replace sauces such as soy, teriyaki and worcestershire sauces with home-made blends because salt or other sodium-based compounds are vital to their fermantation/manufacturing process. Even low sodium version of these sauces have either a lot of sodium or MSG.
  24. Learn how to make sauces for Asian cooking by blending ginger, garlic powder, molasses, vinegar, cilantro and peppers.
  25. Make your own soup or only choose low sodium canned soups. Some low sodium soups are NOT low sodium!
  26. If your soup or meal is over salty, chop raw potatoes in it before heating it. Potatoes will absorb some salt. After heating, you can remove them from the meal.
  27. Use olive oil, garlic, rosemary, pepper and other basic spices to marinade meat and poultry.
  28. Eat more vegetables than meats (difficult in the U.S.) as vegetables are mostly very low in sodium.
  29. Learn Mediterranean cuisine. American cuisine mostly involves burgers, steaks, chicken wings, and meat based meals whereas Mediterranean cuisine mostly involves vegetable based meals.
  30. If vegetables do not fill you, cook grains such as rice, couscous and vermicelli or pasta as well. You can make low sodium pasta sauces with fresh tomatoes or tomato paste.
  31. Use low sodium pancake and waffle mixes for breakfast. Use water instead of milk to lower sodium.
  32. Always have unsalted butters and margarines in your kitchen.
  33. Download, print, store low sodium recipes.
  34. Stock your kitchen with herbs/spices, fresh lemons/limes, onions, garlic, vinegar, reduced-sodium broth, skim milk and butter-flavored powders.
  35. Use Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to receive diet tips from experts and share your experience with others. Sharing makes it easier!
  36. Walk, run and exercise regularly. You can get rid of excess sodium by sweating.
  37. Invest in a low sodium cookbook.
  38. Bookmark low sodium recipe sites or individual online recipes.
  39. Use Google's recipe view tool.
  40. Let your friends know that you are on a low sodium diet. This way you give them a chance not to add salt to meals they cook for friend gatherings!
  41. In fact, convince your friends that consuming too much salt is evil! Following a diet with others is easier than doing it alone.
  42. Wash cheese and olives to get rid of their excess salt.
  43. Change your mental approach towards low sodium dieting. It is NOT a special diet; this is actually how everybody should eat. Remember salt is an additive used to preserve foods. Most foods do not have too much salt in their natural, fresh forms.