Ten Ways to Cut Out Salt
January 18, 2021
Low salt or sodium intake reduces blood pressure and with improves cardiovascular outcomes in those with and without chronic kidney disease (CKD) with less heart attacks, heart failure or strokes. Patients with CKD are often salt sensitive and unable to control blood pressure and/or swelling when there is a high salt intake. Therefore, patients with diabetes and CKD could benefit from restricting salt intake in their diet. Further, lowering salt improves volume status and swelling of the patient along with reducing protein leakage in the urine that damages the kidneys over time. Research have also shown that sodium restriction might enhance the effects of water pills or diuretics like furosemide, and blood pressure medications like losartan and lisinopril, in patients with kidney disease.
Thus, most well-informed patients would choose to restrict sodium intake to less than 2 grams per day. Patients who are more interested in a small reduction in blood pressure and/or a lower number of antihypertensive medications (potentially reducing costs and the risk of side effects) will be more inclined to follow this recommendation. Those who are less interested in these potential benefits may have more difficulty in making the requisite dietary changes, and those who find food markedly less palatable after sodium restriction may be less inclined to follow the recommendation.
If you have difficulty with restricting the salt in your diet, here are 10 ways you can use to cut out excess salt from your diet. 1. Shop for and buy fresh foods and vegetables and cook at home with less salt. Avoid frozen or canned foods. 2. Use salt-free spices and fresh herbs to add flavor to the food. 3. Read the food labels: choose lower salt brands whenever possible. The goal is to consume less than 2 grams or 2000 milligrams of salt per day. Everything adds up. 4. Avoid foods with more than 400 milligrams of salt per serving. You can find that on the label. 5. Avoid salty processed meats like pork slices or turkey slices. Use fresh meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Or even better, plant-based proteins, like beans and unsalted nuts and legumes, instead.6. Use sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy or hot flavors to season food instead of salt. 7. Use unsalted butter, unsalted margarine, cooking oil, or other unsalted fats when frying or cooking. 8. Cut out salty sauces like soy sauce. Instead, replace it with lime juice, pineapple juice or unseasoned rice vinegar. 9.Keep healthy, unsalted snacks on hand like fresh fruits or cut out vegetables to snack on. 10. When eating out in restaurants, ask the chef to prepare you a low salt version of the food, or order dressings, sauces, and gravies in a separate dish on the side and use less of it.