low sodium foods

A low sodium foods that people can eat to reduce the amount of sodium in their diet. 7 Best Low Sodium Foods for a Healthy Heart according to Nutrition experts.

Is it possible that you are one of the 9 out of 10 people who eat too much salt? Although the Dietary Guidelines recommend restricting sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day (about 1 teaspoon), most people consume much more than that amount.

Even 2,300mg is too high, As per American Heart Association, which recommends that aim for a daily sodium limit 1,500mg.

Sodium is a necessary nutrient that the body needs in small quantities, but consuming too much of it can cause high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and even kidney disease.

Since blood pressure tends to increase with age, it’s even more important to keep an eye on your sodium intake as you get older.

Where does all of this sodium come from, though? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about a quarter of our sodium intake comes from restaurants, where determining how much sodium is in your meal can be difficult. Approximately 10% comes from home cooking and eating at the table, but a whopping 65% comes from food purchased in supermarkets, where you can search for lower sodium foods.

Breads and rolls, pizza, burgers, cold cuts and cured meats, chilli, and burritos and tacos are among the most common high sodium foods.

Even selecting products with “reduced sodium” or “no salt added” labels will help. However, there are a few  natural low sodium foods that you can include in your diet:

Fruit

low sodium fruits

The majority of fruits are low in sodium, and some are even sodium-free. Sodium-free fruits include apples, apricots, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, and most berries. Fruits are not only naturally low in sodium, but they are also high in powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre, all of which can help maintain a healthy heart. Fruits often add natural sweetness and flavour to almost every dish without the need for additional salt or sugar.

Yogurt

low sodium food

In addition to promoting gut health, studies show that this fermented dairy product can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Plain yoghurt has a low sodium content by itself, but flavoured varieties do contain added sugars and salt, so read the nutrition label carefully.

When possible, use plain yoghurt and sweeten it naturally with berries. Greek yoghurt has even more protein and is a good option for a heart-healthy diet.

Dry Peas and Beans

low sodium foods

Beans, peas, and lentils are all high in plant-based protein and nutrition, which can help to improve heart health. They’re also naturally low in fat and cholesterol-free.

Since dry legumes contain almost no sodium, boiling them is a great choice. Canned beans and legumes are a convenient option, but they’re also high in sodium. Look for varieties that say “low-sodium” on the bottle. You may also reduce the sodium content of beans by rinsing or draining them.

Vegetables

vegetables

Significant nutrients found in both fruits and vegetables can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Asparagus, green beans, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, and squash are examples of naturally sodium-free vegetables.

According to research, raising your vegetable intake, especially leafy greens such as spinach and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, can provide the greatest heart health benefits.

When it comes to cooking vegetables, try steaming, air frying, or roasting instead of deep frying, and use a light hand with the salt shaker.

Unsalted Nuts and Seeds

walnut

Every bite of nuts provides a satisfying crunch and plant-based protein. According to new findings, people who eat nuts on a daily basis have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. When possible, choose unsalted and raw nut varieties.

If giving up salted nuts is too difficult, consider making your own blend of half salted and half unsalted nuts to reduce sodium while maintaining flavour.

Nuts, such as Walnuts, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help to keep your heart healthy should be in your diet.

Potatoes and potassium

potato

According to Research, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium.

You don’t need to cut as much sodium from your diet if your diet is rich in potassium.

Do you want to spice up your potatoes? Try sprinkling cinnamon on a sweet potato or applying low-sodium salsa to a baked potato.

Ancient Grains

quinoa

The list of nutrient-dense delicious ancient grains is endless: farro, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, kamut, freekeh, barley, bulgur, quinoa…

Ancient grains, which are dietary staples in many parts of the world, are becoming more common in Western countries as they are less refined than other more widely available grains.

You’ll find that most ancient grains contain little or no sodium, making them an excellent low-sodium option. But, once again, planning is key; try to cook ancient grains in only plain water or with a low-sodium broth.

Herbs and Spices

In the kitchen, a variety of high-quality herbs and spices will make all the difference, while also allowing you to drastically reduce added sugar and sodium in recipes. This is due to the fact that herbs and spices naturally add a lot of flavour and richness to dishes.

Experiment with fresh herbs you might not be familiar with, such as sage in cooking or mint in a salad for a burst of flavour. Look through your spice cabinet and prepare a meal around a spice you wouldn’t usually use, such as turmeric or cumin.

When it comes to marinades and pre-made seasonings, sodium levels will quickly add up, so make your own whenever possible.

What not to eat

If you’re trying to cut your sodium intake, there are a few foods you can avoid. Soups from cans may have a lot of salt in them. Often high in sodium are frozen meals, processed snacks, and fast food in general.

Sodium is also used in canned sauces and instant soups. Baked goods, in addition to being high in sugar, are high in sodium due to the baking soda used in their preparation, and additional salt can be added for flavour.

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