Sodium is one of the most important nutrients present in the body. It maintains fluid balance and helps in the generation and conduction of nerve impulses throughout the body.
To maintain these functions at an optimal level, salt should be consumed daily. According to the US FDA, the recommended daily intake of sodium is around 2300 mg per day.
However, many consume salt higher than the safe levels. That mostly (about 70%) comes from highly processed and packaged foods and not the one used for cooking. Diets with high salt levels can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Symptoms include high blood pressure and stroke.
Cardiovascular research scientist and author of The Salt Fix, Dr. James DiNicolantonio says that salt should be present in our diet in adequate amounts.
For certain age groups, like the elderly and those with chronic cardiovascular issues, the amount of salt intake is less than the regular recommendation. They must consume food with lower sodium levels.
Yogurt and Six other Low Sodium Foods
Incorporating the following seven food items into your diet can help in maintaining optimal and safe level of salt consumption.
Plain yogurt is very low in sodium and can be used to prepare several desserts. It can also be a nice option to snack upon, which makes it an alternative to packaged snacks.
Nuts are naturally low in sodium when consumed unsalted. Almonds, pistachios, cashews, and walnuts have been shown to have cardiovascular benefits. They can make you feel full between meals.
Most fruits are low in sodium and rich in potassium. Examples of low-sodium fruits include apples, bananas, apricots, and papaya.
Fruits should replace other processed and sugary food items that are harmful to health.
Oats are naturally low in sodium and also help in reducing blood glucose. They're a good alternative to other grains, as they're a good source of dietary fiber. Oats can be consumed with milk or cooked with spices and condiments.
5) Fresh Meat
Fresh meat is low in sodium and completely safe for consumption by people on salt-restricted diets.
As long as it's not processed or cooked with added excess salt, fresh meat can be included in regular diet.
Potatoes are another vegetable low in sodium. They can be used to prepare several dishes in various forms. They are completely safe when cooked with no salt or with low amounts. Potatoes are a staple in the diet of millions across the world.
Milk is naturally low in sodium. Some milk products, like fresh cottage cheese, are also safe to consume.
Milk can be consumed directly or added to other food items. People on a salt-restricted diet are often recommended to increase their milk intake.
Sodium is an important mineral for the body but harmful to the heart at high levels. High sodium can lead to strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. Some people with cardiovascular issues are prescribed a low-sodium diet.
Most naturally sourced food items are low in salt unless they are processed using high amounts of salt for preserving them. Fresh meat, milk, grains, fruits, and vegetables are generally low in sodium and can be consumed safely. One must stay away from highly processed foods for better heart health.