Lower Your SALT Intake on a Low-FODMAP Diet

Lower Your SALT Intake on Low-FODMAP Diet

How to lower Salt in your Diet?

How to lower salt in your Diet: Any kind of change requires some planning. Reducing your sodium intake is no exception. Changing how much salt you eat is much like letting go of an addiction. The American diet is based on excessive salt for flavoring.  Historically, salt was used to preserve foods. With refrigeration, it is no longer needed for that, yet western culture has passed down a dependence on sodium to enhance the taste of food.  In order for those of you with Hepatitis C and liver disease to cut back on salt, some areas of your life will have to be re-organized. First of all, realize that you will no longer be able to eat like most people. You will be in a minority. The good news is that the benefits are great whether you have a liver problem or not. But if you have cirrhosis watch out for salt!

Get smart: You may recall the fictitious character Maxwell Smart. He was a kooky secret agent who used a shoe phone to communicate. You can use your smart phone to look up sodium content for everything! Most people read nutrition labels these days. You can see how many grams of sodium are in a food item by simply looking for the content in each serving. If it is a multi serving package, you may have to do a little math. Look at the portion size and then calculating how much is in each serving. Generally any portion size that is over 300 mg is considered high and would be best saved for those special indulgence foods that you do not want to give up.

It is important to know that your favorite things will not be entirely excluded from your diet. So the cheese dip, corn chips, and french fries can still be eaten, just not as often. You will also have to become more inventive with the sauces you dip them in. The learning curve is sharp and it will take time to learn how to lower salt in your diet. Be patient with yourself. Your doctor may prescribe diuretics. While that helps to keep fluid retention at bay, with a little effort you may be able to eliminate diuretics eventually by eating low sodium. That is smart living. While the medications are beneficial, how much better is it to control water retention with your diet?

Cook from scratch: One way to start is by considering how a low salt diet looks in your home.  Most of the sodium we eat is not being poured from the shaker. The snacks, crackers, canned soups, sauces and gravies are the real culprits. Once you do begin to understand how much sodium is contained in processed food, it can be disheartening. The realization hits that you will have to cook more from scratch. You will be surprised at how easy it is once you get the hang of it. The one dish skillet dinners can be made as quickly and even more flavorful with ingredients from your cupboard. Bring the crockpot back into vogue and let it do the work for you! An easy approach to this is to compile a list of your favorite dishes and look for ways to replace the high salt ingredients with low or no salt. Then stock up on those items such as pasta, no salt tomatoes and sauce, no salt herb blends, and frozen vegetables. Begin to think using “instead of” statements. For example: Instead of lunchmeat, cook a few pieces of chicken, or a roast. They can be kept in a zipper bag and made into sandwiches without all the salt. Instead of processed cheese slices, keep a block of swiss or mozzarella. Instead of a high sodium salsa, find a brand that has less and enjoy! Instead of packaged baked goods, find one that has less sodium, like pecan spinners.

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