YIKES! Sodium in foods a major big deal!

rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7February 16, 2013

More studies have been published about the deadly effects of too much sodium consumption in our daily diets. The added sodium to our processed food is one part of the equation. The worst part. One meal at your favorite restaurant can provide all of the sodium requirement for the entire day or two.

Natural sodium also needs to be accounted for. I am not talking about table salt (sodium chloride), but all forms of sodium. Fruits and veggies have sodium.

Sodium is a required element for all of us. But many of us are taking in as much as 5 times what we should.

I've been trying to figure out and tally up the sodium content of my typical day...nearly ALL foods, natural and raw included, have sodium. Even my green sludgies!

I am super sensitive to sodium content and not paying close attention is akin to a death wish.

I've been avoiding canned or jarred food of all kinds for years. You can find low or no sodium stuff, but I have to make sure that potassium chloride is not added as a substitute. Lawd, that crap tastes terrible!!

So, who else is aware of this...or should I say concerned about it? I'm going to figure out my total one of these days.

Can we share helpful hints?

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I have no special medical issues and I believe in moderation in all things. So as long as I mostly cook my own fresh foods and avoid processed foods and other high sodium foods I don't worry about it much. Sorry to hear you have health problems that require you to be extra vigilant. It must be very difficult.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:23AM
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Rhizo my cycling buddy Mel is very sodium challenged. When he ingests to much, his balance problem comes to the foreground, as well as his hearing problems.

I will never forget the morning he didn't get out of his tent, and would not answer me when I talked to him. Or, maybe I should say, I tried to talk to him.

When he finally crawled out, he told me, he can't hear a thing. That was a rather scary morning ride, once we broke camp and got on our bikes.

I have learned to cook without salt, on our tours. When we shop for our food, we always look for no salt items. It's kind of hard in small town USA to find such. We do need canned goods often, as we don't know how far it is to the next grocery store, once we find a campground.

Mel has Meniere's disease.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:25AM
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You're certainly right to be concerned if sodium is a problem for you.

But it needs to be remembered that only 5-10% of the population actually IS sodium sensitive.

Drs always tell everyone diagnosed with high BP to avoid as much sodium as possible. I was put on meds for high bp 20+ years ago, and also avoided sodium for years, hating how bland food was, then learned that it's only a small percentage who will have a problem with it. I've gone back to using as much salt as I please. Was just at the drs on Wed--BP was 120/72--not bad for an old gal like me!

There are, of course, other medical conditions where sodium needs to be avoided, but it's time for drs to be honest with us about who needs to avoid it in the case of high bp--not all do.

Cooking from scratch from fresh ingredients (which I do a lot) is a good way to reduce a lot of the sodium added to processed foods. It's the 'across the board' suggestion that makes the most sense, really.

But you know what really gets me about sodium use? We are being told to all avoid it, pretty much, right? And yet sodium is now being wholesaled in stuff where it really doesn't belong--what about all the sea-salted desserts, candies, goodies out there these days? And bacon--turning up in desserts, under chocolate, etc?

This post was edited by azzalea on Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 9:25

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:28AM
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I find that if I eat too much salt, I retain a lot of fluid. I really notice a difference. I think canned soup is one of the worst offenders when it comes to added sodium. It makes me so thirsty. I don't eat it often, just once in awhile.

Funny BP story. I went to have blood drawn as part of my annual physical. Immediately after that, I went to see the orthopedist about my hand. They took my BP and it was 102/70. They looked at me like I should be dead. I guess having the blood drawn caused my BP to drop. It's usually 120/70.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:16AM
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Y0u are s0 right, Rhiz0. I learned ab0ut salt when Harry was 0n Weight Watchers. They preach l0w s0dium--at least they used t0. And any0ne 0n BP meds sh0uld heed their d0ct0rs advice and cut back. Salt makes the b0dy retain water, which causes unwanted weight gain.

I have a few tips. First, is cut back gradually. Sec0nd, d0n't put the salt shaker 0n the table.Third, instead 0f using salt, seas0n f00d with pr0ducts like Mrs. Dash 0r Spike. Spike is my fav0rite and I use it a l0t. It has n0 p0tassium ch0ride, Rhiz0--just checked my label. Great 0n fish instead 0f salt. F00d d0es N0T have t0 tast bland. Try spices and herbs. Y0u'll be surprised (and happy next time y0u get weighed!!

We all c0nsume m0re salt than we need. Acc0rding t0 the May0 Clinic, a pers0n 0ver 55 needs 1500 mgs a day. That's less than 2 tsps. Unbelieveable, isn't it?

Dedtired, y0u're sp0t 0n with the s0up. I shudder when I read a recipe that includes a can 0f Cream 0f ? and then calls f0r added salt.

F0r years I was the biggest "salter" the w0rld has ever seen.N0w when we eat 0ut I c0me h0me and drink water the rest 0f the evening :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:25AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Some years ago, when I began curtailing my sodium intake, I was horrified at how bland everything tasted but was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly my sense of taste evolved. It's nice to taste food instead of salt.

Speaking of cooking from scratch, how does a big pot of pea soup sound?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Well, now that you asked, Rhizo, a big pot of pea soup sounds very good, especially since I can smell the pot of split pea soup simmering away in my kitchen as I type. lol It's going to be my evening meal. It only has one tsp of salt in the whole pot, and I don't add ham to it.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Yes, there is way too much sodium in pretty much all prepared foods. Often, when you read the labels the sodium content seems fine until you notice the serving size of 1 or 2 tablespoons. We recently stopped eating meat and the amount of sodium in supposedly healthy meat substitutes is astonishing.

And pea soup sounds very good. :o)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:21PM
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This is a good example of why we should check all cans and boxes for sodium content. I try to cook everything from scratch, using fresh vegetables/fruits and meat...I very seldom box anything in a box, other than pasta.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Ditto ghoghunter . DD has an almost 2 yr. old who is being fed mostly antibiotic/pesticide free. DD has a fit that the antibitoic/pesticide/garbage free organic hot dogs she has found are REALLY high in sodium. I, personally, HATE salty stuff -- and it is EVERYWHERE! That's why I avoid restaraunts and canned/boxed food

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:11AM
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