Therapeutic Diets - Low Sodium diet


  Low Sodium diet

Sodium is found in salt. 5 gms that is 1 teaspoon of salt contains about 2,000 – 3,000 mg of sodium. The recommended daily intake of sodium is 5gm that is around 2300mg. Limiting the salt in our daily diet is low sodium diet. Too much sodium in your diet is not good for health. It may cause your body to retain excess fluid. Limiting the salt intake is important for patients with kidney disease, liver and heart disease.

Normal sodium intake recommendations:

0 - 12 months 1 gm
1 - 3 years 2 gm
4 - 6 years 3 gm
7 - 10 years 5 gm
Above 11 years 5 to 6gms

Role of sodium:

The amount of sodium in the body is regulated by kidneys. When there is too much of sodium in the body kidneys filter some out and the excess sodium is excreted in the urine. When the body doesn’t have enough sodium, the kidneys help to conserve sodium and return the needed amount into the blood stream. When kidneys are not working properly or not able to filter, sodium begins to build up in the blood. Sodium in the blood pulls up  out and holds the water from cells in the body and leads to edema. This in turn increases the volume of the blood and puts pressure on the circulatory system.

Benefits of low sodium diet:

  • A low sodium diet for kidney patients is necessary to prevent fluid retention.
  • A low sodium diet helps to reduce blood pressure.
  • A low sodium diet is good for people who are at the risk of heart diseases.
  • It helps in management of hypertension.

Tips to follow a low sodium diet:

  • Choose the foods which are naturally low in sodium.
  • Don’t add too much of salt to you food.
  • While you shop , read the nutrition fact labels so that one can determine sodium content in the food.
  • Avoid fat free dressings as these contain lot of sodium.
  • Avoid eating pickles.
  • Avoid foods containing preservatives especially in canned foods and processed foods as they have high sodium content.
  • Limit use of condiments that are high in sodium.
  • In the market salt substitutes are available such as potassium chloride and magnesium chlorine. However some people may not tolerate the salt substitute so one should be careful in adding those to their dishes. Use unless a healthcare provider prescribes.
  • Frozen prepared food items should be avoided.
  • Avoid soups as they are high in salt.
  • Salad dressing and dip contain high in salt should be avoided.
  • French fries, potato chips , papads should be avoided as they contain salt.

Low Sodium Foods:

Fruit drinks, Apple, Banana, Blackberries, Broccoli, Cherries, Black Berries, Coffee, Chick Pea, Walnuts, Straw berries, Peaches, Prunes, Rice, Cucumber, Watermelon, Wheat,  Honey, Barley, Jam, Pop corn unsalted, Nuts unsalted, Puffed rice.

Medium Sodium Foods:

  • Egg limit 1 per day
  • Limit one choice per day should be around ½ serving. celery, carrots, Mustar greens,Frozenpeas, Turnip.
  • Low fat milk limits 2 cups per day.

High Sodium content foods:

Buttermilk, Olives, Pickles, Canned vegetable juices, salted butter, salted margarine, sauces, Marinades, Salt biscuits, Potato chips, cheese, Instant pudding, Soft drinks, Fish ,oysters.

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