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.