Low sodium foods for your heart health comes at a price. The foods we’re so used to shaking the white grains of salt over that has become almost addictive as sugar, simply won’t taste the same. Salt has been added to almost all foods that are processed and then they’re cooked at home and even more salt is added either during cooking or afterward at the table. People are used to the taste of salt and without it, food tastes bland. You can avoid this by slowly cutting down on salt and using spices and herbs for flavoring.
Fresh fruit or vegetables are a great start.
While highly processed foods often contain abundant sodium, fresh fruits and vegetables normally don’t have much. There are some which are higher, such as cooked spinach and raw Swiss chard. Most however, are either low, very low or sodium free. Sodium free vegetables include cucumber, asparagus, corn, green beans, potatoes, avocado and summer squash. These are ideal vegetables to add to a sodium free diet, but very low sodium mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, cabbage, green onions, cauliflower and tomatoes make a good addition, too.
Your source of protein is important.
It doesn’t take rocket science to realize that bacon, hot dogs and beef jerky aren’t on the favorite five when it comes to low sodium content. The definition for low sodium content are foods with less than 140 milligrams per serving, but more than the very-low-sodium content of 35 milligrams for each serving. One 3.5-oz serving of fresh chicken contains 87 milligrams of sodium for dark meat and 77 milligrams for light meat. A 3.5-oz serving of T-bone steak has 66 milligrams. The same size of roasted turkey provides 76 milligrams if it’s dark meat and 63 for white meat. Three and a half ounces of salmon is only about 58. These are all low sodium content foods. A cup of dried beans, peas, or lentils is just 4 milligrams or a very-low-sodium content food.
While some dairy is low in sodium, others are high.
One cup of milk has 107 milligrams of sodium, which isn’t bad when you consider some of the other nutrients. Almond milk has 140 milligrams, while soy milk contains 124 per cup. That makes regular milk the obvious choice if your body can tolerate lactose. Cheese varies with the highest in sodium content being imported blue, feta, halloumi, processed cheeses and Edam. Halloumi is a brined cheese and contains 330 mg of sodium per ounce, Feta is salted twice and while the sodium content varies, it averages about 316, with imported blue cheese approximate 330mg of sodium per ounce. The least amount of sodium is found in Wensleydale, Emmental, Mozzarella, cream cheese and cottage cheese. Cottage cheese contains about 103 mg per ounce.
– Unsalted nuts are a good source of protein without extra sodium.
– Many restaurants have a heart healthy menu and identify the amount of sodium in each serving.
– Avoid processed foods as many of them have a high sodium count. Sometimes even those in the health food area can be high in sodium.
– Learn to season foods with herbs. Mrs Dash salt-free flavoring has been around for a long time and is a good place to start.