“Salt Free” in a Salty World

August 14, 2012 Leave your thoughts

Sodium intake of less than 2500 mg daily helps preserve your bone health, decrease fracture risk, and prevent osteoporosis.  It also helps prevent high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.  Many Americans consume a diet with 5000 mg of sodium or more daily.

Fast food can be a killer unless you pay attention.  McD Angus, Bacon & Cheese with a Chocolate Shake is 2450 mg of sodium.  There are smarter choices if you look.  McD Hamburger with Wildberry Smoothy is only 535 mg.  Southwestern salad without chicken plus a Fruit+Yogurt Parfait is 220 mg.

Prepared foods, such as canned soup, can have 800 mg or more sodium per serving.  But I can make great french onion soup from fresh using Herb-Ox Sodium Free Bouillon and Hy-Vee Swiss Cheese (50 mg sodium/oz).  Helluva Good Cheddar has only 25 mg/oz.

To truly lower your sodium at home you need to read labels and often prepare from fresh.  Fresh vegetables are low sodium, but canned or microwavable frozen are usually high.  We roast, saute, or boil our vegetables.  I grill fresh meat (without injected salt water) with Mrs Dash seasoning instead of prepared steak or BBQ sauces.  Lemon or lime juice work well on many foods.

You can take control naturally.  Watching your salt may seem overwhelming at first, but there are many more smart choices available each year.

Jay Ginther, MD

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