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Sodium Watch


kirite
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Has anyone tried to get by on 1500 mgs. a day? We managed a 500 mg. dinner tonight. Unrefined orzo, Eden very low salt black beans, lemon juice, diced fresh yellow pepper, currants, diced red onions, diced garlic, red wine, balsamic vinegar, and cumin with a fresh parsley garnish. Sliced avacado as a side. It was fabulous!!! We are looking for some tasty suggestions. Thanks!

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Has anyone tried to get by on 1500 mgs. a day? We managed a 500 mg. dinner tonight. Unrefined orzo, Eden very low salt black beans, lemon juice, diced fresh yellow pepper, currants, diced red onions, diced garlic, red wine, balsamic vinegar, and cumin with a fresh parsley garnish. Sliced avacado as a side. It was fabulous!!! We are looking for some tasty suggestions. Thanks!

About half a dozen years ago, I did a 1500mg per day sodium regime. It's possible to do it. I managed maybe 6-8 months and then couldn't take it any more. I was counting every bit of sodium in everything, down to avoiding celery and other naturally high sodium foods. The hardest part was avoiding cheese. Since I make most meals at home, don't add much salt when I cook, and don't use many processed foods, I eventually decided it was overkill to be so meticulous about it. I was counting every mg. for every meal every day.

I use fresh herbs as much as I can and try to minimize dried herb/spice blends that have a lot of salt. Penzeys has a number of no-salt mixes. Mural of color comes to mind. I use products like soy sauce (even the lower sodium kind) and miso sparingly because of the sodium content. Ponzu sauce has less sodium than soy, so sometimes I use that instead.

While I buy lower sodium products when available, the regular versions of products vary in sodium content from one brand to another, sometimes significantly (e..g., canned tomatoes, canned green chiles, sour cream, and cottage cheese). At one point I could name the "winners" specifically, but I've eased up on that too :). If you compare labels at the store, you'll see what I mean. I believe ChiChis chiles are the lowest sodium ones I found, but I have a supply of frozen roasted green chiles, so I haven't been using canned ones very often. Because of the issue of BPA in can linings, I've cut back even farther on canned goods, which consequently reduces sodium in meals. Chiles, beans, and tomatoes are the main canned goods I use. I keep a supply of dried beans on hand and use canned only when I'm really short of time. I used jarred tomato puree more and canned tomato products less, etc. (though I'm not sure the jarred kind has a lower sodium version).

If using commercial broth, I buy the lower sodium kind, usually Whole Foods store brand. When I make stock, I don't add salt at the time I make the base stock and add small amounts to whatever I'm making with the stock. I think I learned that from The Rittenhouse Cookbook, which is a heart-healthy cookbook I was using a fair amount back then.

Since I haven't focused on it in a while and didn't use to keep a close record of menus, I can't recall much in the way of specific meals. I was cooking a fair amount from some spa cookbooks I had and an excellent Mayo Clinic cookbook. I just tracked down a recipe from that period that I liked, from one of the Canyon Ranch cookbooks. They have a lot of recipes on their site, including ones from their cookbooks. Good luck!

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I became acutely aware of the amount of salt we all consume by following a low-iodine diet before thyroid cancer treatment back in 2006. (Here is a link to a post about the diet) A low-iodine diet isn't low-sodium, but unless the label on a prepared or processed food product specifically says the salt used is iodine-free, then it is not allowed. And believe me, there is "salt" in almost everything.

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If I may...this book is a way for those who aren't as used to looking at lablels and keeping track of foods and such (such as the elderly) to be able to do so. There's also some hints and other info on the site that can be helpful. The author has some credibility... :) (she's my sister) My family has hearing about the impact of salt consumption for years! Of course the new guidelines have just added fuel to the fire. :)

saltrax

Sandra Parkington, MPH, RN is a registered nurse with over 30 years of experience in acute coronary care, occupational health, school health, hospice, cardiac clinical research, cardiac quality data analysis and quality improvement.

She chose to pursue a graduate degree in Public Health a few years ago in order to further research and develop an easy-to-use salt tracking system. She now shares her innovative ideas with you in order to help you better manage your salt intake. Her book on managing salt intake is called,

How to Keep Track of Your SALT Intake and is available for purchase through this web site.

A research article based on data from her thesis was published in the American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP) in November 2008. The journal article entitled, "Measuring Salt Consumption to Guide Behavior Change in Applied Settings: A Critical Review" is the first comprehensive review to summarize and outline the potential errors in past research primarily because research has relied on indirect measures as opposed to direct measures of salt eating behavior.

Ms. Parkington's expertise in dietary sodium and its impact on healthy living is reflected in her testimony at the FDA's hearing on sodium held November 29, 2007. Learn more about these interesting hearings on lowering sodium on her blog site.

Ms. Parkington is available for limited speaking engagements. Please contact her at srpark@saltrax.com.

The mission of HealthTrax, LLC is to to educate the general public in the simple and effective measurement of sodium intake, thereby reducing the consumption of dietary salt overall, assisting in the prevention and management of many chronic diseases.

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