Sodium, Hints to Restrict

1.      Purpose of Sodium in the Body.


A.      Regulation of body fluids.

B.      Maintenance of ph balance.

C.      Regulation of body functions such as muscle performance, transmission of nerve messages, and heart action.


2.      Types of Sodium-restricted Diets


A.      Mild: 3-5 grams of sodium per day.

B.      Moderate: 1000 milligrams of sodium per day.

C.      Strict: 500 milligrams of sodium per day.


3.      Complications of Sodium Imbalances


A.      Hypertension.

B.      Edema.

C.      Heart problems.

D.      Stroke.

E.      Kidney failure.


4.      General Suggestions


A.      Use salt substitute if permitted by physician. (Potassium salt substitutes can also be dangerous.)

B.      Season food with spices such as lemon, parsley, cinnamon, etc.

C.      Read labels carefully for sodium content.

i.         Check for salt, sodium, or soda and other combinations:

A.      monosodium glutamate

B.      sodium benzoate

C.      sodium caseinate

D.      sodium citrate

E.      sodium nitrate

F.       sodium phosphate

G.      sodium propinate

H.      sodium saccharin

ii.        Avoid or limit foods that have labels such as self-rising, cured, or brined.

D.      Check drinking water for content of sodium.

E.      Check sodium content of medicines such as cough medicine, alkalizes, pain remedies, laxatives, antacids, etc.

F.       Buy products advertised as low in sodium.

G.      Look for reduced-salt items or no-salt-added items.

H.      Use sodium substitutes that are blends of herbs and spices.

I.         Cook without adding salt.

J.       Avoid or limit highly processed and seasoned foods in fast food restaurants.

K.       Use oil and vinegar dressings instead of prepared salad dressings.

L.       Avoid or limit highly processed foods and convenience foods, which are usually high in sodium.

M.     Buy low-sodium cheese.


5.      High-Sodium Foods (one teaspoon of salt contains about 2,000 mg of sodium)


A.      Milk and milk products: Avoid or limit buttermilk, nonfat dry milk, and most cheeses.

B.      Vegetables: Avoid or limit sauerkraut (one cup contains 1554 mg) beets, spinach, and mushrooms.

C.      Fruits: Avoid or limit glazed fruits and maraschino cherries.

D.      Fats: Avoid or limit margarine, salad dressing, and mayonnaise.

E.      Breads and Cereals: Avoid or limit all cereals except Puffed Rice, Puffed Wheat, and Shredded Wheat.

F.       Meats: Avoid or limit salty or smoked meats, bologna, canned or chipped beef, frankfurters, luncheon meats, pork, sausage, or tongue.

G.      Avoid or limit canned and instant soups.

H.      Avoid or limit snacks such as potato chips, pretzels, salted nuts, popcorn, crackers, etc.

I.         Avoid or limit seasonings such as celery salt, onion salt, garlic salt, catsup, soy sauce, pickles, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, meat extracts, prepared mustard, bouillon cubes.