Moderation and a Low-Sodium Diet

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Your doctor has just prescribed a low-sodium diet, but do you have to give up all the foods you love?  "Everything in moderation," is a great way to transition to a new diet.  You can still have some of the foods you like, but think of them as treats instead of staples.  Don’t look at this new way of living as a punishment, but rather the opportunity to try new things and work to be the healthiest you can be.  Will you like all the new things you try?  Probably not.  But you won’t know until you try!  Spring is just around the corner, and fresh produce and herbs will be in abundance making your low-sodium diet flavorful and healthy!

The Cleveland Clinic offers these general guidelines when striving for a low-sodium diet.  Talk to your physician about how you can best limit the sodium in your diet and live a longer, healthier life.

  • Eliminate the salt shaker
  • Avoid garlic salt, onion salt, and packaged condiments and broths high in sodium
  • Use fresh ingredients with no added salt
  • Substitute no-sodium seasoning blends in recipes calling for salt
  • Try orange, lemon, lime, pineapple juice or vinegar as a base for meat marinades
  • Avoid packaged convenience foods such as soups, sauces and frozen dinners
  • Use fresh, frozen, no-salt added canned vegetables, low-sodium soups, and low-sodium lunchmeats

Be aware of the American Heart Association’s “Salty Six"

  1. Breads, rolls, bagels, tortillas and wraps
  2. Cold cuts and cured meats
  3. Pizza
  4. Poultry (Often injected with sodium.  Check the nutrition facts.)
  5. Soup
  6. Sandwiches


Just like Mary says, “moderation not eradication,” when it comes to reducing the sodium in your diet. The Department of Health and Human Services states that “Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. People ages 51+ and who have high blood pressure levels, diabetes or a kidney disease, have to stay at 1,500 or less milligrams of sodium a day.”

If you're struggling with the nutrition of your senior loved-one.  Visit Caregiverstress.com for valuable resources ranging from how to start the nutrition conversation to meal planners and recipes.


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