American Heart Month is in FebruaryTake care of your heart by going easy on the salt! Too much sodium can play a role in raising our blood pressure.
By: Luella Morehouse, NDSU Extension, The Jamestown Sun
Take care of your heart by going easy on the salt! Too much sodium can play a role in raising our blood pressure.
Adults and children should reduce the amount of sodium in their diets to 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily (a total of 1 teaspoon of salt from all sources).
People over age 51, African Americans and those with high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease should reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day.
Ten Tips to Trim Sodium
1. Think fresh. Eat highly processed foods less often and in smaller portions. Ready-to-eat foods such as canned chili and soups often are high in sodium.
2. Enjoy home-prepared foods more often. Preparing your foods lets you limit the amount of salt that you add.
3. Fill up on veggies and fruits. Enjoy a vegetable or fruit at every meal. They are naturally very low in sodium.
4. Choose dairy and protein foods that are lower in sodium. Get your calcium from low-fat milk and yogurt more often than cheese. Choose fresh beef, pork, poultry and seafood more often than sausage, bacon and luncheon meats.
5. Adjust your taste buds. Cut back on salt little by little. Your taste for salt will lessen as time passes.
6. Skip the salt. Use spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice to season foods. Try black or red pepper, basil, curry, ginger or rosemary.
7. Read the label. Compare the amount of sodium listed on Nutrition Facts labels. Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium” or “no salt added.”
8. Ask for low-sodium foods when you eat out. Some restaurants will prepare lower-sodium foods at your request. Some will serve sauces and salad dressings on the side, so you use less.
9. Pay attention to condiments. Choose lower-sodium ketchup and soy sauce when possible. Have a carrot stick instead of a pickle for a crunchy side dish.
10. Boost your potassium intake. Potassium may help lower your blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods include potatoes, tomato juice and sauce (choose lower-sodium versions), sweet potatoes, beans (white, lima, kidney), bananas, yogurt, orange juice and milk.
FoodWise Tip of the Month …
I stretch my food dollar by extending pre-packaged dry meal mixes.
For tuna or hamburger-style mixes, I add extra meat and noodles, plus the amount of water needed to cook the noodles, into the recipe. The meal still has plenty of flavor but provides additional servings.
These mixes tend to be high in sodium. By extending them, the sodium per serving is lowered, which makes them more healthful.
Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletters.html.” For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, FNP Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 116 1/2 First Street East, Jamestown, ND, 252-9030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.