Thursday, September 6, 2012

Heart Patients and Summer Foods

In the summer time at picnics and other gatherings, there is a variety of foods cooked by different people. Heart patients will not be able to enjoy the offerings as much as other people will. This is because the summer foods such as mayonnaise base salads, hot dogs and hamburgers, and potato chips are all laden with salts that and cholesterol which are not good for us.

To ensure that heart patients can eat and enjoy the day, they usually need to bring their own low salt alternatives. However, since every adult should be watching his or her sodium intake in my opinion, anyone can bring these items to any gathering. Perhaps if more people limited the salt there would not be as much of a meed for blood pressure pills.

There is low salt mayonnaise that can be used with low cholesterol macaroni that make a good salad. Most others who are not on this type of diet will eat it as well because it tastes good. Use low sodium mustard is desired but easy on the eggs, pickles, or olives, which are not on our diet. Opt for low sodium ranch dressing instead of plain mayo or salad dressing.

There are even low salt or no-salt potato chips that you can bring along to any outing. Picking up a bag of baked chips instead of chips, which are fried, is always a better idea. There are several brands of flavored crackers, which are low salt so they are a good idea as well.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, and even sausage usually have a very high fat content and are loaded with salt. Heart patients are supposed to avoid these. Instead, take some low fat Turkey slices, reduced salt mayonnaise, and a loaf of bread, which makes it healthier meal. You could even bring along some low sodium on sliced cheese. Do not forget the lettuce, tomatoes, and sliced onion, these toppings are sodium free.

If you are making a trail mix use, unsalted peanuts, bits of dark chocolate and marshmallows. If you want smores choose low salt graham crackers, dark chocolate and regular marshmallows. Add cool whip to cakes rather than frosting to make them available for heart patients.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Migraines and Salt Intake

Many people do not realize the effects that salt has on their bodies. After I had my heart attacks in October of 2009, I had to go on a low salt diet, as do all heart patients. Within months, I realized that the migraines that plagued me since I was five years old were suddenly gone.

Migraines had affected me since I was a child. These migraines occurred at least three times a month and sometimes they landed me in the hospital. When I was about thirty-five, I learned that processed foods made these headaches worse so I cut back on those foods.

For instance, I cut back to two hot dogs at a cook out and I had a slight headache not that raging one I had when I ate three. In the summer time at cookouts, I would eat three grilled hotdogs but I rarely ate them other times in the year. I did eat a lot of cheese and sandwich meat because it was cheap, as a single mom, I pinched pennies.

After the heart attacks, I began reading labels to make sure I was staying on the low salt diet. Cold cuts, hotdogs, sausage, and cheese went off my diet for the most part, because they were high in sodium. The benefit for me was lower blood pressure and the migraines virtually disappeared. I have had a few since then but they are very rare and always occur after I splurge on sodium-laden foods.
Occasionally when I will eat too much salt, the migraines come back because the blood pressure goes up. I can feel it. Most of us do not realize the effects that our food intake does to our bodies.

Unfortunately, after some people have heart attacks they still did not limit the salt and their blood pressure remains high. Therefore, they have recurring heart attacks. I am very careful about what I put in my body. I am anal about salt intake because I am scared to death to have another heart attack.

I am very careful when I go out to a restaurant. I order baked chicken or a chef salad, but the heavily seasoned items are off my list of eatable foods. Instead of the beer battered Haddock I love, I opt for baked fish which is lightly seasoned and not breaded. I choose a baked potato instead of the French fries, which are usually salted before they come from the kitchen.

For picnics or parties where there is a wide array of food, I will always go for the plain looking foods. I also make a low salt dish to pass so that I know at least there is one thing I can eat. Being on a low salt diet does not mean I have to eat bland food or go hungry. It simple means I need to make better choices and if this means I get the added bonus of the rare migraine it is a great choice.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Breast Self Exams Are Critical to Your Health

Performing self breast exams should begin when a woman is in her twenties according to the website. Early detection could save your life, that's why it is so important for all women to check their breast on a monthly basis beginning at age 20. This allows you to become familiar with your breast and make it easier for you do detect changes if there are any.

There are 3 ways to do a self breast exam looking in the mirror, while showering, and of course laying flat on your back and feeling the breast. The WebMD site explains why you need to perform all of these ways of examining the breasts. Simply the breasts look and feel different in different positions.

In the mirror: Look
Stand in front of a mirror topless in a well lit room.
Examine your breasts visually, first with arms at your sides. Next place your hands firmly on your hips and tighten your chest muscles. Then bend forward in the mirror allowing your breasts to fall. Now place your heads behind your head and check your nipples from side to side. Also look at the undersides of your breast, lifting them if necessary.

In the shower: Feel
Check armpits are breasts for any lumps or thickenings. Examine your chest area from bra line to collarbone. Raise one arm over your head and use the other hand to examine the opposite breast. Use an up and down motion from bra line to collarbone and repeat on the other side.

Lying down: Feel in a circle
Lie down and place one arm behind your back and use the other hand to examine the other breast using a circular motion. Start at 12 o'clock and move toward 1 o'clock in small circular motions.

Continue around the entire circle until you reach 12 o'clock again. Keep your fingers flat and in constant contact with your breast. When the circle is complete, move in one inch toward the nipple and complete another circle around the clock. Feel the entire breast. Make sure to feel the upper outer areas that extend into your armpit for any lumps or thickenings. Also push gently on your nipple, it should easily be moved.

It's recommended to do a self breast exam monthly, usually a few days after your period or the first of the month if you no longer menstruate. Remember to report any changes to your doctor as soon as possible. Not all lumps are cancer but early detection is crucial if it is. You can sign up for free email reminders of when to do your monthly exams at the Bright Pink website.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Health Benefits of Walking Groups

There are many benefits of participating in walking groups. Walking in groups will help with weight loss, cardiovascular health, and overall health. It also can help you to be less lonely by forming new friendships or even romantic relationships.

Improving cardiovascular health is a benefit of walking groups. Getting out there and doing simple walking revs up your heart at a safe level. With the walking group, you have people around you who can help if God forbid you have another heart attack. There is bound to be someone who is walking for the same reason, and you can share experiences and help one another in your quest to stay heart attack free.

Weight loss is a great benefit of walking groups. The weight will not melt off overnight, because it was not put on overnight. However, with each step, a tiny percent will fall off, and soon you will see the changes in weight that you are looking for. Start slow and keep the distance to where it is comfortable for you. Each day increase your speed or distance and those weight loss changes will occur quicker than you can imagine.

Forming friendships that are lasting is a benefit of waling groups. People who are walking usually have the same type of goals from this form of exercise and those goals will form friendships.

Healing from bad romantic relationships is a benefit of walking groups. Some may wonder about this one, but think about it if you join any type of group or change your habits you are more likely to heal from bad relationships quicker. Walking in groups will help you heal quicker because you are meeting new people and getting back into the swing of life.

Depression affects many people, and one of the best things you can do is get out and meet new people who will uplift you and make you feel better within. Healing in walking groups is a great benefit of walking groups. No one has to know you are depressed, so it will be more comfortable for you. The sunshine will also lift your spirits.

It is widely known that there is strength in numbers. Walking in groups will speed things along in emergencies. In the case of young women or older kids who often walk alone, walking with partners will decrease the likelihood of crimes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Find Walking Partners with These Ideas

Walking is great for your health in many ways. Walking alone for your health is never a good idea. Here are some ways to find someone to walk with.

When the weather is nice it is the perfect time to get out there and walk. However, health patients or people who have mobility problems feel more comfortable walking with other people. It is hard at times to get someone in your household to walk with you.

Still if you are walking to lose weight or otherwise walking for your health, you need to get out there and walk. Walking alone can be boring or even dangerous to some of us. Heart patients may have a heart attack so they should not walk alone, and neither should teenage girls for obvious reasons.

The answer of course is to organize a walking group with people who wish to walk for the same reasons. Many large cities have groups that meet in parks to walk, but for those of us who live in small towns or rural areas the groups are nearly non-existent.

You could hang a sign in a convenience store asking for walking partners but that does not always work out as planned.

You could create a Facebook walking group for your area and announce it to people in your local area. Those Facebook groups are perfect for many things and creating on for this purpose may be just the perfect thing for your needs. Just make sure your group has your purpose, town, and state so others can find you.

The Facebook group not only allows you to set up the arrangements as far as time and distance, and location, you also see the faces of those who also wish to walk. You form bonds in these types of groups so it is like walking with an old friend in some cases.

Set up nightly walks at a public place. Locally our high school leaves the track around the football field open. While the mile long oval may be boring to walk alone it is safe from vehicles so walkers may use headphones. It is always better to walk in there with someone who is walking for the same reasons, because you will have something to talk about. Who knows you might even strike up a friendship as you walk and that is always a good thing.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Migraines, Blood Pressure and Salt Intake

If you are experiencing migraine headaches which are limiting your daily activities, and medications do not seem to help, I may have the solution for you. This is my personal observations over the years, as I have been suffering from migraines since I was five years old.

When I was growing up I had the usual childhood, ate the same things my siblings ate, yet the food did not affect us all the same. Three out of seven siblings got migraine headaches that bothered us to various degrees. I was the only one that was hospitalized for a migraine that lasted a week, but the three of us who suffered had numerous doctor visits.

I suffered three heart attacks within four days shortly after I turned forty-three and I began to watch what I ate. I was put on a low salt diet, as are most heart patients. It is commonly known that salt will increase blood pressure and if you have a high enough blood pressure, you have either a stroke or a heart attack.

I took my diet seriously and counted the milligrams of salt I consumed. I used a plain sheet of paper and wrote down the numbers I got from reading sodium levels on packages. I gave up foods, which seemed to have high amounts of sodium such as cheese and processed foods.

I also switched to sea salt that was recommended. What I learned is sea salt has just as much sodium as regular table salt has in it.. A quick read of labels on the grocery shelf will show that information. It is in your best interest to read every label that goes in your cart, no matter what product you are buying in the grocery store.

Before long the first anniversary of my heart attacks was coming around, and I realized that it had been over a year since I had a migraine. I realized that for myself there was a direct correlation between salt intake and migraines. As long as I keep my sodium intake below that limit of 2,000 milligrams, the headaches stay away. One those rare days when I have too much sodium I will get a migraine headache complete with the vomiting, sensitivity to light and of course the pounding headache.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Picnic Foods for Heart Patients and Diebetics

Heart patients and those with diabetes are often invited to picnics and cook outs during the summer. Those who cook the dishes, which are passed during these events, usually forget our special diets. Please do not forget us. Here are some ideas for your next event.

With so many people now on special diets, it might be hard to plan dishes for those among us who are on them. The heart diet is low salt, low fat and low cholesterol while the diabetic people limit sugar and those foods which break down to sugar.

When cooking the meats, please remember that many prepared sauces have high levels of sodium. Instead of slathering all of the chicken or beef with this sauce, sprinkle a few pieces of meat with Ms. Dash instead. The same with the burgers sprinkle them with a no salt seasoning, this way when we add mustard or ketchup we are not over loading on the salt content. Too much sodium is bad for everyone so it is best to try and limit is where ever you can.

The flavored chips are usually loaded with salt, so grab a few bags. It is best to purchase a flavored bag, a plain bag, and a plain bag with low salt. Mix the two bags of plain chips together and no one will be the wiser.

To make a heart healthy chip dip take a packet of Lipton French Onion soup mix and mix it with twice the amount of low fat sour cream. Trust me if no one sees you do this, no one will even taste the difference. We can use this dip on top of hamburgers rather than a slice of cheese, which has a quarter of the amount of salt adults, should eat a day.

When making potato or macaroni salads use low fat mayo instead of salad dressing. This is a great alternative. Items such as olives, pickles, mustard, and eggs, which really make salads of this type, taste delicious, are loaded with salt so please limit these things. Did you know that you can also lower the sodium content of pickles and olives by rinsing them off in cold water before you put them in the salad?

Cakes, other sweets, and pies are picnic staples but a better alternative is a nice fruit salad made with fresh fruit. If you use the canned variety, be sure to rinse of the items before you toss them in a bowl. Use low fat cool whip instead of regular cool whip. Another great alternative is to use jell-o. You can serve it plain or mix fruit in there.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Restaurants and Low Salt Foods

If you are on a low salt, low fat, or low cholesterol diet, it is difficult eating in a restaurant because one never really knows how the food is prepared. The menu may state that food is low salt, low fat, or low cholesterol but too many factors come into play in the manufacturing process as well as the cooking process.

Even if the instructions on a package or a recipe call for a certain ingredient such as sugar or butter, cooks in many restaurants will use what is on hand. This can ultimately change the amounts of the items a dieter is trying to limit in the finished product.

Sometimes it is as simple as adding whole milk instead of low fat milk in the cooking process that adds the salt or even extra fat. The type of oil or fat used in the cooking or baking process will alter the finish product as well.

The only way to be sure what ingredients are used in a product is to cook it yourself or watch the cooking process. In a restaurant, it is far better to eat the simple foods that require little in the preparation process.

These items include green salads and baked potatoes, which have very little sodium, fat or cholesterol naturally. A baked potato, with real butter, sour cream and chives has little sodium, fat or cholesterol. However, once any type of cheese or bacon bits are added to the food, the amount of the salt, cholesterol and fat you are trying to limit goes higher quickly.

A piece of meat may have a lot of fat in. Depending on the cooking process, it may have a higher level of cholesterol and sodium. The best option here is to choose a cut of meat, which is smaller and has less fat. Baked meat is typically healthier but again it depends on any seasonings, marmalades, and other ingredients used in the process.

If you are craving T-Bone or a pork chop, it is still possible to enjoy these items depending on how they are cooked, even when you are on a special diet. Ask if the restaurant grills the steaks or chops without adding any type of seasonings.

If they typically include seasonings, ask that the cook withhold the seasonings on your meat. Most restaurants will accommodate special requests for diners if it is something simple.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We need to de-stress here is a contest to help

We, heart patients all need to relieve stress levels and a great way I found to do this is write fiction. I know everyone is not a writer but you can benefit from reading the words I write!

My friend and fellow writer, Angel Sharum began a writing group back in 2010. Members of this group write short stories that we publish. I have been a member of this group since it began. Now Angel is having a contest where she is giving away one of our books to a lucky visitor. Please check out her blog for more details.

Stay tuned, my next blog post will be highlighting a book I recently published about my experiences as a heart patient. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Penguin Pride and Heart Patients

Hockey is a fun game to watch and if you are a heart patient there is no reason you cannot go to watch the game! Walking into the stadium is good exercise for your body and soul. Maybe you cannot play the game anymore but you can get out where the action is.

When you get the itch to catch a real live hockey game, go see Ticketamerica’s web site. has tickets for the Pittsburgh Penguins the Consol Energy Center and all other NHL tickets. Being from PA myself, I got Penguin Pride! Get your NHL tickets  at Ticketamerica's web site. They also have tickets for all Pittsburgh Penguins matches even those played at the  Consol Energy Center.

If you are a hockey fan but cannot get to the rink to watch a game or play, the next best thing is to find some free online games to play

Over at Candystand there is an extreme air-hockey challenge. It is free to play and if you submit your scores, you can win real prizes.  When playing this one, you select your country and help lead the team to victory. The mouse controls your mallet. So get your trigger finger ready for this excitement. You can play on Acadepod’s website they have eight hockey games.  Some of these are flash, java, and shockwave games for fans to enjoy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Moderation is the key with Homemade Fries

I have to admit that for two years after my heart attacks I was scared to eat anything fried. I denied myself those homemade French Fries that I used to eat along with many other things.

One night while I was home alone recently and feeling like I had given up so much I put the olive oil on to heat.  As I cut up the potato, I had a brief moment of second thoughts. Then reality quickly took over and said I am not going to have another heart attack because I have a few French Fries here.

Those fries were so darn good, and I did not feel badly for giving into my craving. I know with the olive oil I fried them with the healthiest oil I knew of.

I did not salt them, homemade fries do not need anything.  I did mix my favorite dipping sauce, which is about a teaspoon of ketchup to 2 teaspoons of fat free mayo. I love this mix and its great on fries, or baked burgers. My granddaughters love this dip with their chicken nuggets.

I believe moderation is the key to everything we eat. Real French fries fried in olive oil once or twice a year is not going to kill me. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Exercise and NCAA Basketball

Living with heart disease does not mean you have to sit in the house like a hermit. It is very important to get out there and get some exercise. Granted some of us can get back to our sporting activities quickly, while others need to take it slow and to build back up to these activities.

If you enjoyed basketball before you were diagnosed with heart disease you might be missing that type of adrenalin rush. While you may not feeling like getting out there to play basketball you sure can watch some great action on the basketball court. If you are a fan of the Charlotte 49ers, Greensboro Spartans or the Central Eagles get out there and see a game. has seating for college games that include some great teams in the state of North Carolina that include the North Carolina Central Eagles ticketsNorth Carolina Charlotte 49ers tickets,  and North Carolina Greensboro Spartans tickets college NCAA games.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Low Salt Comfort foods

Comfort foods on a low salt diet are easier to prepare then one might think. Macaroni and cheese, soup, and even a cheeseburger and fries can be low sodium if prepared the right way. Here are some tasty alternatives to the comfort foods we enjoyed most of our lives.

Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese is a comfort food, but to some one on a low salt diet it is off limits. On the other hand, is it? The macaroni itself is not bad, and it's better if you skip adding the salt to the water when you boil it.
Opt to use low salt cheese, Helluva and Alpine Lace companies both make good varieties.

Also, skip the bread or cracker crumbs on top, as these are typically better for you. If you have to use the breadcrumbs, use low sodium bread and season it a salt-free seasoning. As always though watch the portion sizes and read the labels of all ingredients.

Burger and Fries!
For the burger get the leanest, you can find and mix it with ground turkey. Season it with the Mrs. Dash of your choice for extra flavor. For cooking, you have a few ways to accomplish it. Steam it, grill it, or bake it in the oven! Place the patty up on a drip pan so the oil, fat etc drips off on to the other pan and away from the food. Think of your burger as a mini meatloaf and you will fare better.

Depending on your toppings, you can add a slice of cheese. Cheese though is typically high in sodium and not a good thing if you insist on ketchup, pickles, mustard, and mayo on your burger. All of these are high in sodium, so its time to choose what you can go without and what you must have.

The fries are the easy part. Either purchase the type which is already cit or slice up your own potatoes and bake them. Never deep-fry these, I know they are great but most of us who are on the low salt diet are also on the low fat, or low cholesterol diets as well. Baking our fries is much better all around and much healthier for us.

Canned soups are usually loaded with sodium and the no salt or low salt varieties are gross. Soups are a comfort food that is stable of just about everyone in the United States. You can create you own and still enjoy it. Boil a few chicken thighs, add frozen vegetables or noodles and along with Mrs. Dash you have a soup you can eat. Beef stew no problem cut up your own beef, add the frozen vegetables, and chopped potatoes and you have a hearty meal you can enjoy.

My journey into the low salt diet is only just a year old but each day I am finding alternative ways to eating the comfort foods I enjoyed all of my life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Salt and its dangerous affects

Many people do not really understand the ramifications of eating so much salt in their diet, nor do they realize how much sodium they are in fact consuming on a daily basis. A healthy adult should limit the intake to 2,300 MSG according to the Mayo Clinic and unhealthy adults such as those with heart or blood pressure problems need to consume less. Read on to see what salt does to the body and how you can prevent a heart attack.

Some may wonder why it is so important to limit the consumption of salt. Heart attacks and strokes top that list, but even before it gets that bad, people who eat too much begin to retain fluids. Two months before my heart attacks last year my best friend Chrissie noticed that I was gaining weight in only my arms and legs at a very noticeable rate. I did not derive a conclusion because I thought I was too young to worry about it. I was wrong.

The salt we eat goes into the kidneys where it is used and the extra is passed through urine. However is there is extra salt, which is too much to pass in the urine it enters the blood stream and increases the blood volume. When there is too much blood volume it makes your heart work harder. Prolonged over working your heart can lead to heart attack, stroke, or worse yet death. It also causes high blood pressure, which can do so many bad things to you. Truthfully, knowing that it could eventually kill you is it worth the extra salt on your French fries or other food.

Not only can too much salt in your body cause the heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. It can also mess with your kidneys giving you kidney disease and cirrhosis! Retaining the extra sodium will make you puffy and puffy ankles make it very hard to walk some days. Your clothes do not fit properly and well its all around a very bad idea to load up on salt just enjoy food.

Limiting your salt before your doctor tells you too can reduce our risks and help you live longer. It can also prevent you from paying the almost 19,000-dollar hospital bill from last fall when I had 3 heart attacks within 4 days.
There are many benefits to reducing the salt within your diet. Some of these benefits include lower cholesterol, less chance of insulin resistance, reduced risk of having chronic liver disease, less of a risk of developing osteoporosis, some types of cancers, and it lowers your chances of becoming obese.

Even if you never salt the food, you eat at the table you may be in trouble with your intake. About five percent of the sodium intake occurs when we are cooking, only 6 percent is added at the table, and 12% comes from natural sources. A whopping 77 percent of the salt an average adult consumes comes from the processed or prepared foods we eat. Those are stats according to a graph, on the Mayo Clinic site.

You would be wise to eliminate or reduce the consumption of processed foods or foods that come all ready prepared. Get back to preparing meals from scratch, if you have a crock-pot you can prepare a meal in the morning and allow it to cook stress free all day. Prepared foods are not healthy for your wallet either as they usually cost much more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Low Salt Thanksgiving

Soon it will be time to plan the Thanksgiving Dinner and for those among us on the low salt it's a time we dread unless of course we are cooking. Traditionally holiday meals are laden with foods, which have many delicious foods that are swimming in salt. That can spell major trouble for us and it is something we should avoid at all costs.

I am not saying avoid the Thanksgiving dinner feast, I am simply saying avoid the salt. Avoiding all the sodium we can is so much better for those people we love as well and us. With smart choices, we can enjoy all the food, fun, and festivities of the day.

What would a Thanksgiving dinner be without the turkey? A farce that is what the feast would be without the turkey. There are low sodium birds out there for purchase and they are plentiful in the right areas.

Choose a fresh turkey, which has not been frozen. The brining process adds all the high sodium content, which can harm someone on a low salt diet. If you are lucky enough to live in a rural area, contact a farmer and see if he would sell you a fully-grown tom or hen.

Rub a salt free seasoning inside the turkey, in the area where you would add the stuffing to add flavor.

Gravies, Vegetables and More
To save on sodium in the gravy use a prepared mix, which has reduced salt, but these are not all created equally so read the labels.

Use fresh or frozen vegetables it's the processing of these items, which sends the salt content rather high and reduces the quality.

While cooking anything do not add salt. Add a container of salt to the table, so it's handy for people to use if needed.

Stuffing is typically high in sodium so create your own. Unsalted bread is the main ingredient along with celery and some no salt seasonings such as Mrs. Dash complete the stuffing that is better for you.

When cooking any of the desserts, which go with this meal, it is permissible to add any of the salt substitutes to make it healthier for every one. Done correctly no one will even notice but you.

Use a low salt spread for breads and rolls that you serve at the feast.

It's best to skip the pickles and olives but some people will complain so get the low sodium variety and serve them in dishes.

For deviled eggs and salads, which use a mayo base, get some reduced salt mayonnaise and use it. It's not the best but it will work.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Low salt Christmas Dinner

Planning a Christmas dinner when you are on a low sodium diet for health, reasons can be an overwhelming task to figure out what you can eat. I have put together this list of foods, which are low in salt so that you and I can enjoy food on Christmas with the family.
Low Salt does not mean bland food, it simply means food that will not clog your heart and shorten your life.
We all know that ham, which is the staple of most Christmas dinners, is now outlawed by our low sodium diet. Usually Christmas Dinner us included, the ham, ham gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, buttered homemade rolls, canned vegetables. Last year this was one of the reason I said screw the usual ham dinner with all the trimmings. I skipped making the entire dinner.
To some that looks like it would be a wonderful meal. Salt reined high in all of those food items even the mashed potatoes because they were smothered in gravy. The gravy that is typically made from the ham drippings is not only loaded with sodium it is also high in fat, which is a no-no for those among us who are on a low cholesterol diet. It is best to skip the gravy, which is made from fat.
However, that is not always possible as it is a necessary item to some people. There is low sodium instant gravy mixes that you can substitute for the homemade gravy. Read the labels on these, stick to the suggested serving sizes and one serving will be enough.
All ham is high in salt that is part of the curing process. It is really best to avoid it when on the low salt diet. There are low sodium hams on the market, but they are usually double the price and hard to find. If you insist on having ham for your Christmas dinner opt for ham slices which have been rinsed in water to remove the salt. To me personally a ham slice will not cut it, as it is not what I am used to.
The potatoes on the Christmas dinner menu are fine if you use whole potatoes you need peel and cook. Skip the candied yams or sweet potatoes, which are in the cans. Anything in a can is processed and processed foods are typically high in sodium.
For a person on a low salt diet, opt for a low salt butter spread and a dollop of sour cream. Sour cream has lots of flavor and it is naturally low in sodium.
Canned vegetables
These are always high in salt, even if you get a low salt variety it still has more sodium then you should have. Opt for cooking frozen or fresh vegetables for the holiday dinner and everyone eating it will be eating better. Season these no-salt alternatives from Mrs. Dash.
Breads, rolls and other items might be fine as long as they are homemade where you can control the salt content. Read the labels and make some changes if needed.
Going on a low sodium diet is not a bad, thing. Until you get the hang of cooking low salt foods, meals will be bland but do not be afraid to get out there and educate yourself. Your life depends upon this, and it is always a great way to get our families eating better without them realizing this.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Surviving a low sodium diet

Surviving a low sodium diet can be difficult in the first few days when a person has become accustomed to eating a lot of salt in their diet for much of their life. This page will give you the necessary information to point you in the right direction to stay on the low sodium diet.

There is much information on the internet to survive a low sodium diet. The Cleveland Clinic recommends those patients who are on a low sodium diet reduce the sodium intake to less than 2000 mgs. While this may seem like a huge amount of salt, it really is not very much at all.

If a doctor has prescribed a low sodium diet for a patient, the patient needs to begin this diet immediately. To ensure optimal health the patient must continue on this diet for an extended time. A doctor will recommend this diet for patients who have high blood pressure, cardiac disease, or other chronic conditions, which are made worse by a high salt diet.

Medical Disclaimer
The content in this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact a doctor before using the information presented here.

The first step to surviving a low sodium diet is to learn to read nutritional labels and make smart choices in your dietary habits. All labels in the United Sates are required to carry nutritional information, which includes sodium, calories, fat, and other dietary information.
The internet has a wealth of information and can greatly reduce the time it takes to locate good food choices with low sodium content.

Toss out
Eliminate salty foods cupboards, pantries, and refrigerators or learn to use these items very sparingly. Donate the foods with high sodium content to a food shelter or to a family in need, rather than throwing it away.
Remove the saltshaker from the table.

Buy smart
Fill the grocery cart up on naturally low sodium foods. Always read the labels before placing the items in the grocery cart. Choose frozen vegetables rather than the canned variety.
Canned foods tend to have more sodium so avoid regular canned items, instead choose no salt added varieties. Flavor the food with low salt seasonings or herbs rather than high salt content seasonings. Avoid fast foodrestaurants, which have high sodium items. Cook meals at home from scratch where you can control the salt levels.