Low Sodium Diet Ideas to Help Ease Hypertension

By: jpeters21
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor will very likely ask you to reduce your salt intake. It is a fact that high salt levels in food can cause hypertension to worsen significantly.

Cutting down salt can seem like a terrible prescription to many. They are afraid that a low sodium diet is equal to tasteless, flavorless food.

That is not necessarily true. It is quite possible to reduce salt intake and enjoy tasty food too. Here are several ideas you can try out.

* First things first -- avoid those potassium chloride salt substitutes. Why? Because they can lead to a dangerous increase in potassium levels in the body and result in many problems including heart rhythm abnormalities.

* Have you noticed when you are tempted to add more salt to your food? It is when the food appears to be bland or otherwise tasteless. Avoid this problem altogether. Ensure that your food looks attractive and has sufficient variety, including colors and textures. That way, you are less likely to impulsively add extra salt.

* Salt is added to canned vegetables during processing. If you use canned vegetables, wash them well with water to remove the salt. Where possible, use fresh vegetables.

* Do you eat a lot of starchy foods like pasta that will use toppings? It is easy to not add salt to them because the toppings add taste to the food and the lack of salt will not be noticeable at all.

* Do not keep the salt shaker on the table. Use lemon juice as a substitute. Use it on a variety of foods to add flavoring.

* Use fruits like pineapples and mandarin oranges to spice up chicken, instead of adding extra salt.

* Eat a balanced diet, and strive for balance in your salt intake as well. For example, if you enjoy a relatively high-salt meal for dinner, keep your breakfast and lunch low in salt content.

* Try marinating meat in wine. You could also add wine to soups and other foods. During cooking, the alcohol will evaporate but wine will enhance the flavor. This is a great option for reducing sodium intake.

* Substitute salt with red pepper, green pepper and paprika to add flavoring.

* When you buy food, read the labels carefully. Remember to choose only low-sodium foods. And be careful of additives that may increase the sodium content.

* Try orange juice for marinating meat and poultry. You can use lemon juice too.

* Garlic salt and onion salt are just salt with flavoring added. Avoid them. Use fresh onions or garlic for flavoring.

* Try out those mixes of herbs and spices for flavoring. Many of them are salt free (be sure to check.) You can also buy many kinds of fruit peels, herbs and spices. Experiment and find out what works best for you.

Use some of these options to create a very tasty, yet low sodium diet. Making these changes will go a long way controlling high blood pressure.
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