Heart conditions are often managed with a combination of lifestyle modifications and medical treatments. One of the changes your heart doctor may recommend implementing is reducing the amount of sodium you eat. Following a low-sodium diet can help you prevent or manage heart disease. In addition to refraining from adding salt to foods, you’ll need to watch out for hidden sodium in common foods.
Going Grocery Shopping
Adding lots of fresh vegetables and fruits to your grocery cart is one way to reduce the amount of sodium you eat. You could also choose frozen vegetables with no added salt. Packaged foods often contain high amounts of sodium. Read nutrition labels carefully before purchasing processed products. Be particularly careful with condiments, which often contain lots of salt. Select fresh or frozen poultry that hasn’t been treated with a sodium solution.
Restaurant meals are notoriously high in sodium. Consider choosing a restaurant that provides nutrition information for its meals. Otherwise, avoid menu items with the following descriptive words:
- Au jus
While ordering, ask your server to instruct the chef not to use extra salt and to leave sauces to the side of the plate.
Preparing Food at Home
Making homemade meals from fresh ingredients is an excellent way to control the amount of sodium you eat. Instead of adding salt, you can use lemon juice, onions, garlic, pepper, and other flavorful ingredients. If you use mixtures of dried herbs and spices, make sure that the product doesn’t contain added sodium. Look for recipes that incorporate potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes, greens, kidney beans, and sweet potatoes. Increasing your potassium intake can help you control your blood pressure.
Cardiac Solutions provides educational classes for patients and family members, which cover topics such as following a low-sodium diet after a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. Call (623) 876-8816 to reach one of our convenient locations in Arizona. Or, visit us on the Web to learn more about working with our cardiologists near Glendale, Phoenix, or Avondale.