Sodium is a necessary mineral for adults to consume, but when it is consumed in high amounts, it can lead to health problems such as hypertension and diabetes. For this reason, many older Americans are advised to cut back on salt – the main source of sodium in our diet. If your loved one’s doctor has recommended that they reduce the amount of sodium in their diet, it can be difficult to help them to prepare meals and snacks. Many foods that are commonly found in grocery stores have added sodium, so it can often be very hard to avoid. If you are helping your loved one to cut their sodium intake, here are some great foods you can prepare and serve that will not put their sodium levels over the edge.
Many fruits contain zero sodium or just 1 or 2 milligrams (healthy adults should consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day and those who need to lower their sodium due to medical conditions are advised to consume 1,500 milligrams or less). Cherries, plums, oranges, apricots, and peaches are sodium-free while 1 cup of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or guava only has 1 milligram. For a low-sodium snack or dessert, fruit is always a safe bet!
Like fruits, there are many veggies that are very low in sodium. Vegetables that contain little or no sodium include asparagus, eggplant, onion, cucumber, and radish. Avocado, potato, leek, peas, yams, and zucchini all contain less than 10 milligrams per 1/2 cup. These low-sodium vegetables are great to serve with lunches and dinners, either cooked or raw.
Herbs and Spices
For many, the hardest part about cutting down on sodium is not being able to add salt to food. Salt is a flavor enhancer and many claim in makes food taste better, even sweets! However, many herbs and spices can also be quite flavorful and bring out the many flavors found in your meals. For pasta, try adding chopped fresh basil leaves or a sprig of rosemary. For sauces, cook them with a bay leaf. And, for Mexican style food, sprinkle on some fresh cilantro and lime juice.
When it comes to low-sodium grain choices, rice is pretty safe bet. 1 cup of rice has less than 16 milligrams of sodium per serving. Serve rice as a side dish or mixed into soups.
For caregivers in Southern NJ, and the surrounding areas call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.