Low-sodium Diets

Low-sodium Diets

By | December 14, 2016

The average adult American eats at least 5 tsp. salt daily. This amount is nearly twenty times the amount of sodium in the body needs to function properly. High levels of sodium found in a variety of foods, both natural and processed foods. Excess sodium is proven to be harmful to health and may contribute to the development or worsening of a number of serious medical conditions. Low-sodium diets work by reducing daily sodium intake and restore the body’s optimal salt-to-water ratio.

You need:
Two quart microwaveable dish

. 4 cups of hot water.
2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules.

2 teaspoons soy sauce.
1 green onion diced.

2 eggs slightly beaten.

Importance
Excessive sodium intake has been linked to a variety of diseases and medical conditions, including stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure and edema. When the body’s sodium levels are too high, the liquid retained. This can lead to swelling of the feet and legs and fluid accumulation around the lungs. Low-sodium diets are an important part of treatment for many people with these medical conditions. Some experts even claim that all adults should reduce sodium intake to prevent future health complications from ever developing. The recommended daily dose of sodium depends on age, activity level, ethnicity and numerous other factors.

Function
Sodium is a mineral essential for proper functioning of the body. The human body, when healthy, is able to adequately regulate their own level of sodium without dietary intervention. But in some people, such as the elderly and those in poor general health, eating a diet high in sodium can cause the body to retain too much fluid. This can be especially harmful to people who suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure. A low-sodium diet reduces the likelihood of harmful fluid retention and edema. By reducing intake to 3000 mg of sodium per day, most will experience health benefits such as lower blood pressure. Some individuals may be necessary to restrict their total amount of sodium to even lower levels, such as 2000 mg per day, before any positive health benefits are experienced. The goal of a low-sodium diet is not completely eliminate sodium from the diet, but to reduce the total quantity consumed.

Consideration
Excess sodium can contribute to a number of health issues, but sodium is not all bad. It controls the balance of fluids in the body and works to maintain blood volume. The ratio of salt to water in the body is essential for metabolism, and salt maintains the balance of electrolytes inside and outside cells. Without sodium, the human body can not function.

Misunderstanding
Many patients fail to start or follow a low-sodium diet because of the misconception that reduced salt means reduced flavor. This is not always the case and many low-sodium foods are both healthy and tasty. A variety of herbs and spices can be used in place of sodium that will increase flavor without compromising health. Moreover, an abundance of low-sodium foods are now available in most grocery stores and is designed to be as flavorful as their high-sodium counterparts.

Warning
Because sodium is essential for a variety of metabolic processes in the human body, severely restrict sodium intake may actually be detrimental to optimal health. A low-sodium diet should only be started under the supervision of a medical professional or nutritionist. It is important to remember that your body loses large amounts of sodium in times of increased activity and sweating, vomiting and diarrhea. Medical conditions that cause increased urination, such as diabetes or renal disease, can also lead to increased excretion of sodium. According to The National Academy of Sciences, adults should consume at least 500 mg per day of sodium to avoid potential problems and maintain optimal health.

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