Cardiovascular disease (CVD) or heart disease is the deadliest in the world. High salt intake is directly related to these conditions, including hypertension. For this reason it is a priority to opt for foods with a low sodium content.
Worldwide, people ingest 2 times more salt than recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). You should consume 5 grams of salt per day or 2 grams of sodium to lower blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.
Mattes and other researchers indicate that 77% of the sodium comes from processed foods and 12% from natural foods. Hence, it is necessary to be attentive to the consumption of salt coming from industrialization. However, the safest way to eat with less sodium is to include some natural foods.
What is a low sodium diet?
In his opinion UNC Healthcare from the United States, a low-sodium diet is one that limits the amount of common salt to 1 teaspoon per day. This equates to no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. This can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and, as a result, having a healthier heart.
THE Spanish Heart Foundation recommends a slightly stricter diet for the control of arterial hypertension. Adjust your sodium intake to 1,353 milligrams per day, which is just over 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Now let’s review what are the top 6 natural foods that are low in sodium.
Fresh vegetables, such as greens, roots, flowers, and stems are low in sodium. For example, leafy greens can range from 70 milligrams to 150 milligrams per 100 grams of greens.
Sweet corn, broccoli, squash, eggplant, sweet potatoes and carrots range from 15 milligrams to 30 milligrams of sodium. Cauliflower, onion, tomato and cucumber contain less than 10 milligrams, as indicated in the art INCAP alimony table.
Second Chilean Journal of Cardiology, it is recommended to eat 4 to 5 servings of raw vegetables a day. This suggestion corresponds to the DASH diet (detary approach to stop hypertension) developed in the United States for the control of arterial hypertension.
2. Fruit is a low sodium food
Fruit in general they have a very low sodium content with values less than 10 milligrams. In addition, they provide pigments that give them a wide variety of colors with antioxidant capacity. They also contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. The DASH diet recommends 4 to 5 servings per day. One serving is 1 medium fruit or 1/2 cup chopped fruit.
The Spanish Heart Foundation recommends about 3 pieces of fruit a day. Inside these are 1 piece of apple, 2 lemons, 1 piece of watermelon, 4 oranges for juice and 1 plum. In the second week you can insert 1 pomegranate, 5 grams of raisins and 75 grams of avocado.
Potato is one of the low sodium root vegetable foods. You have to be careful with the preparation, however. For example, in cooked and baked with the skin and without adding salt, the value fluctuates between 10 milligrams and 14 milligrams per 100 grams. Those cooked without the skin reduce their content to 5 milligrams. While mashed potatoes with milk or margarine bumps it up to more than 300 milligrams per 100 grams.
The Spanish Heart Foundation diet suggests preparing the potato in the form of a tortilla or with shredded chicken and using an amount of almost 1 kilogram of potatoes per week.
4. Whole grains and cereals
THE Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) classified brown rice, oats and quinoa as foods providing less than 5% of the recommended daily value for sodium. Even legumes, such as beans, peas and lentils, have a low intake of this mineral.
Almeida pointed out that soluble fiber is able to reduce the bad cholesterol or LDL that clogs the arteries. They contain oats, quinoa, barley and corn. In this sense, Pereira also highlighted increasing your fiber intake to 10 grams per day to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Walnuts and other nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamias) have less than 10 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams. When toasts are made, the values are concentrated up to 37%. Moreover, Walnuts are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.recognized by the Spanish Heart Foundation as protector of the heart.
The DASH diet recommends 4 to 5 servings (serving size is 1/3 cup) per week of nuts and 2 tablespoons of oily seeds such as flax or sesame.
6. Lean protein
Low-fat proteins are the best option when choosing a type of meat or plant protein. Beef provides more than 50 milligrams of sodium, and fresh fish, including oily fish, contains between 40 and 60 milligrams. With 2 portions of 85 grams each per day, a good protein intake is ensured.
Oily fish, such as fresh tuna, salmon and mackerel are ideal for taking care of the heart. In addition to a low sodium value, they also contain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Another source of protein is milk.. All dairy products should be used skimmed and without salt, in 2 or 3 servings a day.
How much sodium do certain amounts of salt provide?
Common salt is a combination of 40% sodium with 60% chloride. In the Chilean Journal of Cardiology The equivalent amount of sodium from several grams of salt is shown. With these equivalences it is easy to calculate the quantity:
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt provides 500 milligrams of sodium
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt provides 900 milligrams of sodium
- 3/4 teaspoon salt provides 1,500 milligrams of sodium
- 1 teaspoon of salt provides 2,000 milligrams of sodium
What foods should I limit to avoid sodium intake?
There are many foods that we need to limit to reduce our sodium intake per day. Here we mention the ones that contain it the most and hence, the ones you should watch out for. Are the following:
- Some fruits and vegetables: coconut, canned and canned fruit, frozen fruit with added sugar, pickled vegetables, pickles, battered vegetables and vegetables with creamy sauces.
- Cereals: Processed wheat products such as white bread, muffins, donuts, cookies, buttered popcorn, cakes, and refined white flour should be excluded.
- Sodium-rich protein foods: offal, fatty meats, whole milk and dairy products, sausages, ham and other sausages.
- Fat products: butter, cream, salted margarine, hydrogenated fats, heavy sauce, lard.
- various: this group includes canned and dehydrated soups, MSG, mayonnaise, soy sauce, condiments, and canned food.
Low-sodium foods to take care of the heart
If you are looking for a diet to control high blood pressure and To keep your heart healthy, the first thing to do is reduce your salt intake. How much should you eat per day? The answer is up to your doctor and a nutrition professional, so don’t forget to consult with them.
However, you already know that with variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, potatoes and lean meats in different portions you can keep your heart rate healthy. Don’t forget to also check the labels of the products you usually buy at the market.
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