Low Sodium Diet

Hypertension has many causes, and one of these is high sodium in the blood. When the body has excessive levels of sodium, this leads to the retention of water. Since water is a fluid that flows with blood, it is also one constituent of the fluid that the heart pumps throughout the entire body. Because water is retained, the volume of the fluid being pumped by the heart becomes bigger, which then requires more effort from the heart to be able to pump all the fluids to circulate through the blood vessels. When the blood needs more effort to pump, the blood pressure increases, and this can result in many health problems, especially with the heart.

In order to prevent the occurrence of hypertension as well as to maintain hypertension which is caused by high sodium levels, you should maintain a low sodium diet. This form of diet consists of sodium levels of 1,500 – 2,400 mg. If you think that’s big enough to spare a regular serving of French fries, let’s create an example. A teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. So it’s really a very small amount if you think about it.

For you to maintain a low sodium diet, you should always be conscious about the sodium content of all the foods you eat. Look at the nutrition facts of your foods and make sure that you aren’t getting too much sodium from them. The best amount of sodium you should look for in a pre-packed food is 140 mg or lower. Any amount higher than that might not be good for your condition.

There are a lot of foods that have high sodium content, but there are also a lot of alternatives that you can eat instead. Some of the foods high in sodium content are any kind of processed animal meats like ham, bacon, hotdog, hamburger, sausage, sardines, anchovies, spam, and the like; frozen breaded foods like pizza and burritos; salted nuts; buttermilk; all sorts of cheeses; sauces; breads and grains like quick breads, self-rising flour, bread and cake mixes, pizza, croutons, crackers, pre-packed ready-to-cook mixes of various carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, pasta and stuffing; canned vegetables and fruits, pickled vegetables, packaged vegetables, and commercially prepared vegetables like French fries and hash brown; canned and dehydrated soups; bottled salad dressings, salad dressing with meats, salted butter, salted margarine, instant pudding and cakes.

For these foods, you have a choice of various alternatives like fresh meats, poultry, and fish; eggs, non-canned dry peas and beans; milk, yogurt, ice cream; bagels, muffins, ready-to-eat cereals, unsalted rice, unsalted pasta, corn and flour tortillas and noodles, unsalted chips and pretzels; fresh vegetables, fresh fruits; home-made soups; unsalted butter, unsalted margarine, vegetable oils, sodium-free dressings, and unsalted sweets.

There are also a lot of sodium-free or low-sodium foods available in the market, and you can always get those as substitute for foods with high sodium content. You can also use salt substitutes for making your foods tastier, but you have to ask your doctor first about it. It’s also better to cook your own food instead of eating in fast food chains and restaurants so you can control the amount of salt you use for your dishes. Drink a lot of water, preferably hard, because softened water has high sodium content. Coconut water is a good natural diuretic that will help you wash away sodium in your body.

If you have high blood pressure because of high sodium levels, you have to follow this diet closely so that you can manage your health problem and prevent unexpected hypertension attacks. That way, you wouldn’t need to take medications anymore, and you would be better able to maintain a healthy and low-sodium lifestyle.