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    • #13790

      In this helpful column, Serena Lawrence, who has PH, shares her tips for maintaining a low- or no-sodium diet at home and elsewhere. Click here to check out all of Serena’s helpful tips.

      Have you tried a low-sodium diet? Was it benefitial for you?

    • #13826
      Jimi Mcintosh
      Participant

      I have been trying to stick to a low/no sodium diet, by fixing my food at home, reading the labels and trying to figure out the salt in the foods, I purchase to prepare my meals. Hard as I try, I have not been able to reach “0”. Salt is in everything.. I have called restaurant’s to request a no salt meal and it seems my request causes them to add more salt.

      I am trying to eat more fruit and vegetables, less starch , getting my proteins without meat is the challenge.. Bad habits are hard to break. Be careful of juices, diet sodas, Gatorade. watch your potassium from food, supplements, fruits and some leafy vegs, your body needs potassium, but, it is treated as a salt.

      I use Mrs Dash and Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning, there are other salt free seasonings available, check with your doctor, or pharmacist to make sure that the ingredients do not interact with prescribed medicines

      • #13828
        Kathleen Sheffer
        Participant

        Jimi, thanks for sharing some of these tips. I had no idea that potassium can be an issue. I’m lucky not to have needed to be on a low sodium diet, but in general I find I am better able to adhere to food guidelines by preparing food myself. It takes time to come up with go-to meals and snacks you can make yourself that are approved, but definitely gets easier once you do. What are some recipes you’ve tried that have worked well?

      • #14608
        Dori Herrick
        Blocked

        @jimi
        Changing your way of eating is a difficult adjustment. Here are a few tips for you as you learn to navigate the low-sodium lifestyle.

        First, you do need some sodium in your diet. You may think no-sodium would be optimum, but your body needs some sodium to balance the electrolytes in your body. With heart-failure, however, we need to ingest less than the average intake. The general target for the DASH diet and people with heart issues is less than 2,000 mg per day. This can be achieved by focusing on more fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Almost every restaurant meal will have salt added in some way. Food that comes in a package, box, or can is also more likely to have more sodium. And then there are things which sneak extra salt into your diet, such as breads, sauces, even beverages.

        Second, Potassium is not the same as Sodium. It is a separate electrolyte which works with your body. For people with kidney problems, this can be a serious issue, but unless your doctor has indicated that you must restrict your potassium, most people are encouraged to increase potassium intake. The potassium occurring naturally in your fruits and vegetables will help most PH patients. One thing to watch for: substitutes for table salt can contain excess amounts of potassium, which can be dangerous if taken excessively. I prefer to add herbs and spices to my cooking. Things like posemary, basil, parsley, and garlic have distinct flavors

        How I made it easier in the beginning was to aim for approximate 1,000 mg per day. I ate fresh fruits and vegetables for all meals except dinner. For dinner, I added together the per-serving sodium on any packages. If it is at or under 1,000, odds are my meal is really 1,500-2,000 mg (because there is always sodium in there somewhere you don’t know about.) Over time, you will learn where the sodium is hiding.

        • #14625
          Brittany Foster
          Keymaster

          Thank you for this great response Dori. And great point about making sure to have SOME sodium in your diet. With medications I am on for my heart including beta blockers and lasix, I notice that I sometimes will get too low of a blood pressure. The sodium helps with regulating my blood pressure and making sure it doesn’t drop too low. Also, it can help water stay in the body and helps to rehydrate (that’s why some sports drinks actually have a higher sodium content so when athletes drink water they retain it more)- but like you said, definitely pay attention to how much you’re actually consuming because too much fluid retention just isn’t good for many of us !

    • #13847
      VK
      Participant

      As someone who likes to cook, if you don’t mind me adding, sodium-free is pretty much impossible (also, sodium is vital, in small amounts). You’re probably doing an extremely good job by minding the sodium (and starch, etc.) contents of what you eat.

      The word “salt” by itself refers to something that’s a combination of a positive ion and a negative ion. So you’re right that it’s all salt, technically. However, a balance of sodium and potassium is needed to balance out our body chemistry – Too much sodium will raise your blood pressure, and potassium is necessary to balance the sodium out. Too much potassium would probably cause you to pass out (in fact, it can stop the heart, but only in ridiculously massive overdose).

      To plug with my own seasoning suggestion, I like to use Morton Lite Salt, which is a 50/50 combination of potassium chloride and sodium chloride salts. However, I rarely add (any) salt to anything because even something as common as pasta sauce is going to be loaded with sodium.

      Reference: http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/how-potassium-can-help-control-high-blood-pressure

    • #13911
      Iris Alexander
      Participant

      This is sooooo hard to do but when I’ve really stuck to watching my sodium intake I felt a lot better. Mainly bc I’m one of those ph patients that retains fluid at a blink of an eye and of course the more fluid the harder it is for me to breath . Being honest I never stick to it long and then beat myself up when I’m swollen and feeling lousy. But I just keep trying

      • #21801

        I am also having trouble with fluid retention. It Drives me nuts…

        • #21803
          Brittany Foster
          Keymaster

          Christopher,
          I am so sorry to hear that you are having trouble with fluid retention. When you get retention, where is it usually located for you? For me it is usually in my abdomen and ends up hurting pretty badly. Or I get it in my arms and hands. That ends up hurting and sometimes causing tingling. Do you experience pain with your swelling from fluid? What are your doctors recommending to help? I take lasix when mine gets bad.

    • #13923
      Brittany Foster
      Keymaster

      This is hard ! Especially because there is sodium hidden in pretty much everything ! I know that for those that love seasoning (like me) there is a brand of low sodium seasoning that I use when I’m cooking. My boyfriend needs to put salt and pepper on pretty much everything so I just end up leaving it out of the recipe and having him put it on himself. it takes effort to look through the grocery stores for low sodium foods. Recently, I have been trying to incorporate some plant based eating (not total vegan or anything) but just more vegetables, beans, lentils, and fruits into my diet. Even with that though, some of the content on beans are pretty high in sodium ! Some brands do have low sodium options, it’s just about putting in all the effort to track them down.

    • #13926
      Ann Goddeyne
      Participant

      The difference in sodium between brands is huge. I’ve found no salt tomato sauce and very low sodium salsa and chips. I use onion, garlic, paprika, and crushed red pepper as spices. I’ve also switched to unsalted butter and flavored olive oils.

      • #13933
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        I agree Ann, even brand to brand there is such a difference ! Most nutritional information is posted online, even on the grocery store websites (especially the ones that have delivery services for the food). I would suggest people to search around online and do some investigating and go into the store with a game plan or else looking through everything while in the grocery store may get very overwhelming. I get overwhelmed shopping for food even without looking at the labels !

      • #13951
        Iris Alexander
        Participant

        Brittany what seasoning do you use ?

    • #13999
      Robin Webster
      Participant

      It can be so difficult to find low-salt/no-salt products at groceries in my area, but I’ve found a wonderful online site with a huge variety of products. They aren’t exactly cheap, and there are shipping costs, but the quality and convenience is excellent. I find that one of the most important things that helps me stick to my diet plan is not feeling cheated out of things I like. I try to make as much as I can myself, and I’m always on the lookout for great recipes without the sodium. These products really help. (My favorite item is the no-salt dill pickles!) http://www.healthyheartmarket.com

      • #14016
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Robin,
        thank you so much for the link to the site. I agree with not wanting to feel cheated out of the taste of food. I don’t want my food to be bland !!! Thanks again for the tips ! 🙂

      • #14970
        Iris Alexander
        Participant

        Sorry Brittany I guess I’m just seeing this! I’m still not sure how to navigate on here that well. I haven’t tried Mrs dash in years

    • #14953
      Vanessa Vaile
      Participant

      Look what I found poking around for ideas on navigating Thanksgiving dinner ~ a about losing the salt , “Hacking Salt – Lose Salt, Not Taste

    • #14969
      Iris Alexander
      Participant

      I’m in that Facebook group too I haven’t checked it out in awhile though thanks for reminding me

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