Low Salt Foods can
Preserve your Health
In eating low salt foods, we can still provide the body with phytonutrients inclusive of minerals such as sodium. Salt in its myriad of subtle natural and refined forms is easily addictive and can be a very tantalizing taste. Most processed foods are usually highly salted products and therefore dangerous to our health.
Yet sodium is the major positive ion in fluids outside of cells in sync with potassium found in fluids within cells. They are also some common electrolytes responsible for proper functioning of cells and organs. So we do indeed need a good dietary supply of qualitative sodium.
The ocean is ultimately the source of most salt.
Conventional salt producers strip sea salt of its essential trace minerals and present us with sodium chloride as table or food salt.
Of course they add other chemicals to this sodium chloride – even some sugar in the form of dextrose, free-flowing additives, bleaching agents and potassium iodide (hence the term iodized) to reduce iron deficiency and thyroid disease.
I don’t agree with this for thyroid disease is rampant. Perhaps these additives are contributors to these very same diseases and deficiencies.
Bottom line… You have been consuming chemically treated dimineralized sodium chloride. It eventually causes chemical imbalances in the body that lead to health issues like high blood pressure and water retention, liver and kidney disease and even potassium deficiencies.
How do we identify low salt foods?
The United States recommended daily allowance – RDA - is consumption of less than 2,400 milligrams (roughly one teaspoon) of total salt/sodium per day. Yet most of us dangerously exceed 4,000 mg very easily each day.
This includes TOTAL salt and sodium consumed, including sodium used in cooking, original sodium content of individual foods and any salt added at the table.
To maintain a low sodium diet, you need to scrutinize the nutritional information labels on food and drink products. The amount of salt is usually listed as "sodium".
So here are some guidelines to help manage and monitor your daily salt intake.
- Salt or sodium free: Less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving.
- Very Low Sodium: 35 milligrams or less of sodium per serving.
- Low Sodium: 140 milligrams or less per serving.
- No Salt added: No salt added during processing to normally salted foods; does not necessarily mean sodium free.
To adapt your body to low salt foods requires specific changes in your day-to-day lifestyle. You need to:
- Replace regular table salt in your kitchen with a good quality sea salt product and/or sea vegetables
- Engage in preparing your own meals
- Shift strongly towards a diet of plant-based whole foods
- Significantly reduce eating out: restaurants and fast food outlets
- Scrutinize food product labels for sodium content
- Be able to identify high salt products
- Recognize low sodium foods, sodium-free and no salt added products
- Be patient with your taste buds as you withdraw from heavy salt consumption
- Use less salt in cooking and baking
- Get yourself a good brand of high quality natural sea salt
You can reduce or omit salt from most easy healthy recipes without compromising the taste or flavor. Cook with more natural herbs and spices, lime and lemon juices, wines and naturally fermented vinegars.
Use sea salt sparingly. It will provide you with minerals and help assuage your cravings for salty flavors and snacks. Ensure your sea salt of choice is non-processed and free of any bleaching, additives or chemicals. A good quality product is also naturally slightly colored.
When supermarket shopping, purchase and eat more fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are naturally low salt foods.
Also use food products that are minimally processed.
They usually have less sodium.
Look for items labeled sodium free, low sodium, reduced sodium, unsalted, and no salt added.
Read the label. Know how much sodium is in each serving. If the label says 150mg sodium per 1/4 cup and you eat 1/2 cup, you're consuming twice as much.
When shopping or dining, be alert to “salty” terms, like brine, cured, marinated, pickled, and smoked.
In restaurants, order low salt foods and ask how foods are prepared. Avoid soups for most are loaded with high amounts of sodium per serving. Stay away from creamy dressings and avoid salads made with traditional mayonnaise.
Make requests for condiments to be served separately so that you can control the amount to use. Also, restaurant sauces can be very salty.
Sweet and salt flavors make food palatable and are the two most powerful addictive tastes. Processed food manufacturers know this. Hence why they lace salt and sugar into practically all food products.
Disclaimer: The advice given here is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information for educational purposes only. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider. All the content of this website is based upon the opinions, experiences and research of Keith F Gittens – Keithos, unless otherwise noted and is not intended as medical advice.
Return to Food As Medicine from Low Salt Foods