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Stop Eating So Much Salt! These Are The Low Sodium Foods That You Should Eat!

Stop Eating So Much Salt! These Are The Low Sodium Foods That You Should Eat!

Despite the growing number of warnings by the health experts, our diet is still abundant with processed foods that contain excessive amounts of salt that is detrimental to our health. What too much sodium does to our health is that it increases the volume of blood in our blood stream, which results in high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, stomach cancer, osteoporosis, kidney stones and headaches[1], not to mention the weight gain and bloating as a result of water retention. With high blood pressure being a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, it has become evident that lower sodium intake is one of the most important prevention measures.

High sodium foods we use in our diet include

  • Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar and anchovies
  • Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza
  • Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam and chili
  • Salted nuts
  • Beans canned with salt added
  • Buttermilk
  • Regular and processed cheese, cheese spreads and sauces
  • Cottage cheese
  • Bread and rolls with salted tops
  • Quick breads, self-rising flour, biscuit, pancake and waffle mixes
  • Pizza, croutons and salted crackers
  • Prepackaged, processed mixes for potatoes, rice, pasta and stuffing
  • Regular canned vegetables and vegetable juices
  • Olives, pickles, sauerkraut and other pickled vegetables
  • Vegetables made with ham, bacon or salted pork
  • Packaged mixes, such as scalloped or au gratin potatoes, frozen hash browns and Tater Tots
  • Commercially prepared pasta and tomato sauces and salsa
  • Regular canned and dehydrated soup, broth and bouillon
  • Cup of noodles and seasoned ramen mixes
  • Soy sauce, seasoning salt, other sauces and marinades
  • Bottled salad dressings, regular salad dressing with bacon bits
  • Salted butter or margarine
  • Instant pudding and cake
  • Large portions of ketchup, mustard

According to American Heart Association [2] “With 65% of sodium in their diet coming from supermarkets and 25% from restaurants 9 out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium, exceeding the dosage recommended by AHA by 1900mg.”

Health benefits of a low sodium diet

Low sodium diet is strongly recommended as it not only improves the overall health and appearance, but it also affects three major risk factors – high blood pressure, stroke and coronary heart disease.

A research [3] comprised of 14 cohort studies and five randomized controlled trials reporting all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, stroke, or coronary heart disease, 37 randomized controlled trials measuring blood pressure, renal function, blood lipids, and catecholamine levels in adults and nine controlled trials and one cohort study in children reporting on blood pressure shows three major health benefits of low sodium diet

  • In adults a reduction in sodium intake significantly reduced resting systolic blood pressure by 3.39 mm Hg and and resting diastolic blood pressure by 1.54 mm Hg
  • In children, a reduction in sodium intake significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 0.84 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 0.87 mm Hg
  • Lower sodium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke and fatal coronary heart disease in adults

Suggested list of low sodium foods

Even though pervasive in our diets, high sodium foods are not that difficult to avoid or to replace by healthier alternatives. Here is a list of healthy, low sodium alternatives to the previous list, suggested by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans [4] and AHA Sodium blog, [5] complete with recipes for you to try at home.

Meat, fish, eggs, beans and peas

  • Fresh meat (beef, veal, lamb, pork), poultry, fish or shellfish – low in sodium, rich in protein and iron
  • Eggs – low in sodium, rich in protein and omega -3 fatty acids
  • Dried or frozen beans and peas – low in sodium, rich in protein and iron

Suggested daily intake: 2-3 servings per day

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Recipe suggestions:

Scallop ceviche

    Low calorie and low sodium delicious lunch choice.

    White bean and roasted garlic dip

      Healthy home-made dip low in sodium and rich in fiber and protein.

      Dairy

      • Low-sodium cheese (swiss, goat, brick, ricotta, fresh mozzarella)
      • Cream cheese (light and skim)
      • Milk (1% or skim)

      Suggested daily intake: 2-3 servings per day

      Recipe suggestion:

      Phyllo Shells, Goat Cheese, and Jam

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        Creamy, crunchy, low calorie and low sodium snack

        Fruits and vegetables

        • Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits
        • Fresh or frozen vegetables without added sauces
        • Low-sodium tomato juice or V-8 juice
        • Low-sodium tomato sauce

        Suggested daily intake: 5 or more servings per day

        Recipe suggestions:

        Double Apple Crumble

           Rich, low sodium dessert.

          Banana Nut Oatmeal

            Zero-sodium, healthy breakfast choice.

            Beet, Orange, and Ricotta Salad

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              Tasty and healthy salad super rich in protein and fiber.

              Tomato Stacks

                Low calorie, low sodium, savory snack.

                 Breads, grains

                • Low-sodium breads
                • Low-sodium cereals (old-fashioned oats, quick cook oatmeal, grits, Cream of Wheat or Rice, shredded wheat)
                • Pasta (noodles, spaghetti, macaroni)
                • Rice
                • Low-sodium crackers
                • Low-sodium bread crumbs
                • Granola
                • Corn tortillas
                • Plain taco shells

                Suggested daily intake: 6 or more servings per day

                Recipe suggestions:

                Easy Granol

                  Healthy breakfast choice with only 22mg of sodium, and 3 grams of protein and fiber.

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                  Pappardelle With Lemon Gremolata and Asparagus

                    Great dinner choice rich in vitamin K, protein and fiber.

                    Sweets (consume in moderation)

                    • Sherbet, sorbet, Italian ice, popsicles
                    • Fig bars, gingersnaps
                    • Jelly beans and hard candy

                    Recipe suggestion

                    Triple Chocolate Surprise Brownies

                      Low calorie, rich and fudgy dessert.

                      Fats, oils, condiments (consume in moderation)

                      • Low-sodium butter and margarine
                      • Vegetable oils
                      • Low-sodium salad dressing
                      • Homemade gravy without salt
                      • Low-sodium soups
                      • Low-sodium broth or bouillon
                      • Lemon juice
                      • Vinegar
                      • Herbs and spices without salt
                      • Low-sodium mustard
                      • Low-sodium catsup
                      • Low-sodium sauce mixes

                      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

                      Reference

                      [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19110538
                      [2] SOURCE:American Heart Association
                      [3] SOURCE:Effect of lower sodium intake on health: systematic review and meta-analyses
                      [4] SOURCE: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020
                      [5] SOURCE: AHA Sodium blog/

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                      Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                      The result: no more mental stress.

                      2. Unplug

                      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                      3. Easy on the Caffeine

                      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                      The result: mental stress will be gone!

                      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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