Most Americans add excessive sodium to their diets by using table salt. It is recommended that individuals wishing to adopt a low sodium diet taste their food before adding salt.
Many food products also offer low sodium alternatives. Soy sauce and salad dressing are foods that are packaged with lower sodium levels. Patients should consider using fresh vegetables and meats, rather than canned or frozen ones, to a recipe when cooking
Some people consider the adoption of a low sodium diet a culinary adventure. An individual may wish to experiment with spices, such as red pepper, garlic, turmeric or cumin.
A variety of low salt cookbooks are available to help guide patients through the process of cooking dishes.
It is recommended that individuals read the labels of prepared and canned foods to check for sodium content.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that patients take care to maintain a healthy intake of potassium, even as they work to lower sodium consumption.
A low sodium diet appears safe for use in most people, including those with health concerns. The development of goiters due to a reduced sodium (and thus, iodine) intake is not a concern for individuals residing in the United States.
Individuals with metabolic disorders should consult their doctor before adopting a low sodium diet.
This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
National Blood, Lung, and Heart Institute: Reduce Salt and Sodium in Your Diet. 28 July 2008. www.nhlbi.nih.gov
National Institutes of Health: Statement on Sodium Intake and High Blood Pressure. 28 July 2008. www.nhlbi.nih.gov
National Institutes of Health: Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. 28 July 2008. www.nhlbi.nih.gov