Controlling Sodium: Taming an Unhealthy Habit
Salt tastes good. Indian staple diet is not complete without adding salt. Unfortunately, we exceed the recommended limit many times in a day which leads to several health complications. Therefore it is important to tame this unhealthy habit and exercise control over it. No wonder health experts suggest low sodium diet.
Listed below are some tips to cut back on sodium:
Eating more fresh foods is the key to good health. It also keeps you from indulging in excess salt. Avoid frozen food or those laden with preservatives as far as possible.
In case, you buy processed foods, choose those labelled as “low sodium.” For instance, you can purchase plain whole-grain rice as well as pasta instead of those with added seasonings.
Although, it is not possible to remove salt completely from your diet, you can still avoid it as far as possible. You can simply omit salt in many recipes such as soups, salads, casseroles, stews, etc.
Restricting condiments is a fabulous way to restrict use of sodium. So keep from soy sauce, sauces, pickles, salad dressings, ketchup, dips, mustard sauce, etc.
Try to fast one day a week wherein you should have saltless diet. This is one of the best ways to balance out bad effects of salt in your body.
You can use herbs, spices, and various other flavorings to season foods. Your meals can also be spiced up by citrus juices such as lemon juice, and rock salt.
You need to be a smart shopper and understand nutrition facts on label found on most packaged and processed foods lists. It also lists whether or not the ingredients include the following salt or sodium-containing compounds:
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Baking powder
- Baking soda (also called sodium bicarbonate)
- Sodium nitrite
- Sodium alginate
- Sodium citrate
- Disodium phosphate
Strictly avoid products that mention more than 200 mg of sodium per serving.
The Market Claim Vs Fact
Market Claim – Sodium-free/salt-free
Fact – This means each serving contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
Market Claim – Very Low Sodium
Fact – Each serving has at least 35 mg of sodium.
Market Claim – Low sodium
Fact – A serving has at least 140 mg of sodium.
Market Claim – Lite or Light in Sodium
Fact – Sodium content is been reduced by at least 50 percent.
Market Claim – Unsalted or No Salt Added
Fact – This means no salt is added during food processing that usually contains salt.