Low Sodium Diet
Few people doubt the importance of sodium in one's diet. Sodium is crucial to the operation of many metabolic and physiologic processes in your body. However, too much sodium can put a person at additional risk for high blood pressure (hypertension), especially as they grow older. The recommended amount of sodium in a day for any individual depends on age, ethnicity, and other physiologic needs.
How to cut back on sodium in your diet
Most people tend to put table salt on their food to add taste. This is something that needs to be minimized as it is a one of the biggest sources of sodium in anyone's diet. Ordinary table salt is approximately 40% sodium. If you know you are at risk of high blood pressure, fast food should be avoided and prepared food in general (chips, crackers, nuts, soups) should be eaten sparingly as these tend to be very high in sodium. One example of a low sodium diet breakfast would involve an orange, a piece of toast with jelly, a cup of cereal with skim milk, and coffee. A low sodium lunch could include unsalted tuna salad on wheat toast with lettuce, skim milk, a peach, and unsalted crackers.
The Low Sodium Diet is a diet for everyone
If you have reason to believe that you are at risk for high blood pressure—such as having a family history of hypertension, or known risk factors such as being African American—you should consult your physician to outline a diet plan that caters precisely to your needs. However, if you're just looking to improve your health by adopting a diet that is lower in sodium, the essence of the diet, as its name implies, simply involves avoiding salty foods.