Fitness Minutes: (2,939)
208 4/1/12 11:07 A
I had problems with sodium too! But I drastically reduced my intake just this last month and I don't regret it a bit. Some things I learned/did:
1. Eating out = major sodium bomb. Cook at home whenever possible. You save money too! If you must eat out, look up nutritional information online before heading out. If there is no info available, I get so turned off from eating at that place. :S Eat a light snack before going. Don't feel like you have to finish your whole meal. Box left overs!
2. Don't reach for the salt shaker. Ever.
3. If you're going to purchase low sodium products, read the labels still. A lot of times, a reduction in sodium is "made up" for by increasing another nutrient. (Ex: Reducing sodium in a soup, but fat is increased to make it tasty.)
4. Snack on veggies or fruits. I started out buying grapes. I put them in a big bowl and put the bowl on the very top shelf of my refrigerator. They are readily available. I mindlessly reach for them when I open the door... in a good way!!!
5. Make your own smoothies! Very easy with bags of frozen fruit. A cheap blender still does the job. Add a cup of spinach to your smoothie for more nutrients. Easy veggie serving! The color of the smoothie may change with the addition of spinach, but I promise you will not taste the spinach! I also make the smoothies with soymilk.
6. I love french dressing with my salads. I don't pour the dressing onto the salad. I put the dressing in a little cup on the side so I can dip my fork in it and then stab my salad. Tastes yummy still, with much less dressing. I find it kind of fun...
7. I don't drink soda. I drink water, flavored water, soymilk, and decaffeinated tea. I don't miss soda at all. It burns my throat and makes me feel all bloated. I drink water when my stomach growls. People can confuse thirst for hunger. If my stomach is still growly, I eat a light snack if it isn't regular meal time.
As for increasing protein intake, I eat egg whites, beans, chick peas, yogurt, milk, chicken breasts, turkey. =)
When I switched to preparing my own food rather than buying pre-prepared food, that dramatically reduced my sodium. For the processed/convenience foods I still eat, I look for lower sodium options (for example, there are no salt added canned tomatoes and beans). After cutting my sodium, it took a few weeks to get used to the taste, but now when I eat foods I thought were normal before, they taste too salty.
Oh, and it took me about a month to consistently get my sodium below 1500 mg a day. Now I rarely look at it because it's odd for me to go above it (pretty much only on days when I eat out).
You can also increase your potassium - this will help equal out your sodium. This is what I am trying to do. Twice as much potassium as sodium. I was shocked at how much stuff had sodium. I was also surprised at how much stuff has potassium.
Sodium is hard to avoid. I am having a lot of issues with it myself.
My nutritionist also suggested added protein (whey or soy) after I exercise to help with lean muscle. It also boosts my protein. I use it with skim milk. I prefer soy. You can also use it with water or just about any drink and some food. You might talk to your doc. about this.
Buy whole chickens and learn how to de-bone them. I haven't figured out how to easily get the meat off of the drumsticks. For the lower 2/3 of the wings, it's easiest to poach them in stock and then harvest the cooked meat for adding back into soups later. Boil the rest of the chicken carcass until the thinner bones crumble with a squeeze, then strain it, chill it, and skim off the lard. You'll have boneless chicken parts and stock enough for a week of meals, give or take, and the only salt will be what's naturally present in the bird.
For other bones, see what you can get from the butcher. Check the natural salt content of animal flesh to see what you can tolerate.
Frozen vegetables are low sodium, as are fresh.
Check the ingredient lists on everything and learn all of the names for salt.You're probably going to have to replace most of your condiments with vinegar and dry spices. Check spices too, since some mixes are padded with salt. Certain vegetables can also add flavor.
You've been given such great info already I really have only two thoughts to add:
1) I simply stopped ALL salt. Yes, ALL of it--processed, cooking table, etc. I quit cold turkey. It was very difficult for almost 3 weeks, then my cravings subsided and now I can hardly stand to eat out because restaurants dump so much salt in what they prepare.
If you crave sweets, it could be a sign that you consume too much salt & salt addiction may cause food cravings and obesity, There is a lot of salt in bread and cheese and breakfast cereals..Puffed rice and puffed wheat are sodium free and so is shredded wheat. Stay away from Canned veggies, canned soups, spaghetti sauce, potato chips, cheese puffs, pretzels, ketchup, relish, anchovies, capers, also headache or heartburn medicines can contain sodium carbonate or bicarbonate. frozen foods, pies, pot pies, waffles, pizzas, even breaded fish sticks. bread has salt too! A better choice than table salt is Sea salt as it does DOES NOT cause high blood pressure whereas regular refined salt will.
Protein in our diet can come from two different sources: plant based (such as soy, nuts and beans), or animal based (such as meat, dairy and eggs). A healthy diet should include 2 to 3 servings of lean protein each day. Experiment with grains such as quinoa and kasha which are extremely high in protein. Low-fat dairy products are also excellent sources of protein. Try reduced-fat yogurts, cottage cheese and milk. leaner proteins. Turkey bacon and egg whites can make a delicious breakfast. A turkey sandwich with low fat cheese, tomato and lettuce can be an excellent lunch. Just try a honey mustard dressing instead of mayonnaise. Lean chicken or turkey are a great choice baked instead of fried. Beans and nuts are also good choices of plant-based proteins.
Finally, flax seeds are a good source of protein, which is easy to digest and the omega-3 and -6 fatty acids are key in speeding metabolism. Supplementing with flax seeds daily can not only help to increase metabolism, but stabilize blood sugar and increase energy. Throw some in cereal, oatmeal, grits, salads, on veggies. They aslo have flax oil supplements.
Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 4/1/2012 (08:17)
Fitness Minutes: (10,379)
839 3/31/12 11:49 P
I find, personally, the only way to cut the sodium drastically is cut out *all* processed foods! Even low-sodium labels still have so much more salt than I would ever put in anything. The more you cook from scratch the more control you have over that ingredient in your food.
It's not easy!
Fitness Minutes: (4,566)
162 3/31/12 11:45 P
I need to reduce sodium intake and increase my protein intake! Any suggestions anyone????
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.