There are many reasons to follow a low sodium diet. For starters eating healthy involves not adding excess salt to our foods. A low sodium diet also reduces risks for health related problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. Excess sodium in the body retains excess water weight and it can increase blood pressure. Sodium is important for the body to function correctly, but having too much of it is not healthy.
Eating healthy involves consuming fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and lean cuts of meat, whole grains, oats, rice and other healthy foods. People should not consume more than 2000 mg of sodium per day. More often, people will actually consume three to four times this amount because they are not aware of how much sodium is in the food they are eating or they will add extra salt themselves.
Many of the prepared and prepackaged foods we find at our local grocery stores contain high levels of sodium. Getting into the habit of reading the nutritional label on the back of products is important. You should always check the amount of sodium in the product as well as the recommended serving portion. Canned vegetables have sodium added to them during the canning process. Rather than using canned vegetables you should purchase fresh vegetables or frozen. There are canned vegetables that do not contain sodium and these are okay.
Condensed and canned soups can contain high levels of sodium. Even the soups that say they contain less sodium still may have a high amount. Oftentimes the reduced sodium soups will say the entire can consists of two or even three servings. Salad dressings are another product that can be high in sodium. Different sauces, such as BBQ sauce can contain a lot of sodium as well.
Frozen dinners packaged as lean or healthy will contain much more sodium than the regular dinners. Since artificial flavorings were removed to make the meal healthier, it is replaced with more sodium so as to not taste bland to the consumers. There are many foods available that are healthy, taste good and do not contain excess sodium. Always check the labels to find products that fit your diet.
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