Salt and Your Diet
Your body needs salt to work properly. Salt contains sodium. Sodium helps your body control many functions. Too much sodium in your diet can be bad for you. For most people, dietary sodium comes from salt that is in or added to their food.
If you have high blood pressure or heart failure, you will likely be asked to limit how much salt you eat every day. Even people with normal blood pressure will have lower (and healthier) blood pressure if they lower how much salt they eat.
Dietary sodium is measured in milligrams (mg). Your health care provider may tell you to eat no more than 2,300 mg a day when you have these conditions. For some people, 1,500 mg a day is an even better goal.
Limiting Salt in Your Diet
Eating a variety of foods every day can help you limit salt. Try to eat a balanced diet.
Buy fresh vegetables and fruits whenever possible. They are naturally low in salt. Canned foods often contain salt to preserve the color of the food and keep it looking fresh. For this reason, it is better to buy fresh foods. Also buy:
Fresh meats, chicken or turkey, and fish
Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits
Look for these words on labels:
No salt added
Check all labels for how much salt foods contain per serving.
Ingredients are listed in order of the amount the food contains. Avoid foods that list salt near the top of the list of ingredients. A product with less than 100 mg of salt per serving is good.
The above content is from Medline Plus, click here to visit the original article.
Low Sodium Foods: Shopping List
Take the list below with you the next time you go food shopping.
Vegetables and Fruits
Get plenty of vegetables and fruits.
Any fresh fruits, like apples, oranges, or bananas
Any fresh vegetables, like spinach, carrots, or broccoli
Frozen vegetables without added sauce
Canned vegetables that are low in sodium or have no salt added
Low sodium vegetable juice
Frozen or dried fruit (unsweetened)
Canned fruit (packed in water or 100% juice, not syrup)
Breads, Cereals, and Grains
Compare labels to find products with less sodium. When you cook rice or pasta, don’t add salt.
Rice or pasta
Tip: If your food comes with a seasoning packet, use only part of the packet. This will lower the amount of sodium in the food.
Meats, Nuts, and Beans
Choose fresh meats when possible. Some fresh meat has added sodium, so always check the label.
Fish or shellfish
Chicken or turkey breast without skin
Lean cuts of beef or pork
Unsalted nuts and seeds
Dried peas and beans
Canned beans labeled “no salt added” or “low sodium”
Choose fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt. Be sure to check the label on cheese, which can be high in sodium. Milk and yogurt are also good sources of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
Low- or reduced-sodium cheese (like natural Swiss cheese)
Soymilk with added calcium
Dressings, Oils, and Condiments
When you cook, use ingredients that are low in sodium or have no sodium at all.
Unsalted margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats
Vegetable oils (canola, olive, peanut, or sesame)
Sodium-free, light mayonnaise and salad dressing
Low-sodium or “no salt added” ketchup
Try these seasonings instead of salt to flavor your food.
Herbs, spices, or salt-free seasoning blends
Chopped vegetables, like garlic, onions, and peppers
Lemons and limes
The above content is from HealthFinder.gov, click here to go to the original article.