This week, we are dedicating our post to heart failure, in honor heart failure awareness week. Heart failure is a condition affecting over 5 million people in the US. Despite its name, heart failure doesn’t mean your heart has stopped beating. Heart failure is a condition where the heart isn’t pumping enough blood to sustain your body’s oxygen and blood needs. Consuming too much sodium may cause your heart to work harder and worsen a heart failure condition. Whether you have heart failure and are trying to manage it or are just trying to follow a healthy lifestyle, here are some tips for following a low sodium diet, tried and tested by the experts on our team.
Spice up your Life
Hold the salt shaker for a minute and hear us out. Try adding spices instead of salt to your next recipe. There are many spices out there, each one with a unique flavor and taste. Follow this guide from the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) on which spices blend well with certain foods.
Aim for Less that 350 mg of Sodium in Packaged Foods
Packaged foods can be high in sodium so be sure to check the food labels. Aim for no more than 350 mg of sodium per serving of packaged foods. Also, check the ingredient list. If sodium is one of the first five ingredients, put it down and step away.
Be Aware of the 12 High Sodium Words
While we’re on the topic of ingredient lists, read carefully! According to the AAHFN, these are the 12 salty, high sodium terms to watch out for when reading a food label: pickled, marinated, smoked, barbequed, smothered (in sauce), teriyaki, soy sauce, broth, miso, gravy, bacon, salted & salty.
Look for Key Terms when Buying Canned Foods
When you buy canned foods, whether it is vegetables, soups or lunch meats, look for something marked “low-sodium” or “no salt added.” Sodium can be particular high in canned foods.
Eliminate Salt from your Favorite Recipes
Believe it or not, you can successfully take salt out of most recipes without drastically affecting the taste. The only exception to this is recipes with yeast, which will still require salt. How do you balance your salt intake?
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