Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ways to Cut the Sodium in Your Diet

Sodium is need by the body, but unfortunately, with the highly processed diet that most have these days, we over consume it.  Sodium is essential to muscle contraction and nerve transmission.  It is also helpful in balancing your body acid bases, maintaining normal fluid and electrolytes balance.  It helps with formation of saliva and other digestive enzymes that help balance the body's water amounts.

Even when we eat too much Sodium the body works to keep things in balanced. When we consume sodium, it is absorbed straight from the intestines and sent to the blood stream, where it travels freely.  It then travels to the kidneys where it is filtered out and sent back to the blood stream to be delivered where needed.  If we are smart with our diet, keeping things in moderation, the amount going back into the blood stream, from the kidneys, is the exact amount we consumed.  This is not the case for some and the body has an excess of sodium.  When our body notices an excess of sodium it sends messages of thirst, to help get the body back to a normal water-sodium ratio.  Once that ratio is restored the kidneys then excrete the water and excess sodium.

What Foods Should You Cut or Reduce Intake?
These are foods that are highly processed and the manufactures add it in excess to preserve and make taste more appealing.
Cheeses, especially processed types
Canned and instant Soups, Legumes, Vegetables, and Fruits
Sauces: BBQ, Catsups, Mustards, and such
Junk Food/Snacks: chips, pretzels, popcorn, breakfast bars, instant foods that are packaged
Foods prepared in brine: pickles, olives, fish, meats, some vegetables.

Eat foods high in salt sparingly within moderation. When cooking add little to no salt to the foods, and try seasoning with spices for added flavor.  Spice mixes and rubs tend to have a lot of sodium as well, look for sodium free varieties or make your own herb rubs.  Read all your labels and keep an eye out for Salt and Sodium.

The average person gets enough of the needed sodium through a balanced daily diet that has its 5-7 servings of vegetables a day.  By eating a balanced diet with plenty of whole foods you can get your needed sodium naturally.  This does not mean you can't have table salt, just use sparingly and use a organic seas salt variety.  By watching your salt intake you can make sure your body stays within homeostasis.

As we move into summer, we might be hiking, swimming, and other activities that cause us to sweat and lose our sodium supplies.  Instead of reaching for sports drinks, think about adding a refreshing smoothie with some of the raw food choices below.  During the summer we should include more salads and vegetables that replenish natural sodium and cool the body naturally.

Good Foods High in Natural Sodium
Kelp, Celery, Dulse, and Irish Moss- these are sources that you will find good for adding to cooked dishes and soups.

Raw Juice Containing Sodium
Celery, Carrots, Okra, Spinach, Cucumbers, Beets, Apples, Asparagus, Swiss Chard, Plums, Radishes, and Turnips.


  1. I really need to start limiting salt! I eat so much!

  2. Great tips! It's incredible how much sodium is added to foods, if you don't pay attention, it is so easy to get way too much salt...

  3. Thanks fro the info....my brother is trying hard to reduce his salt intake. I pinned this post...so he can check it out.

  4. These are all very wonderful suggestions.

  5. Great suggestions. I have never really thought about my salt in take.