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Old 07-15-2005, 05:05 PM   #1
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Exclamation Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Hey folks, new member here hoping to find some information about reducing sodium intake. I have just gotten back into serious exercise and a little bit of nutrition logging to discover that sodium is a BIG problem in my diet. I think I am eating healthy by avoiding fast food joints, junk food, and sodas, but I am still well over my RDV for sodium (often nearly twice the recommended values). How can anyone possibly keep their sodium intake to 2400mg when ALL food seems to be packed with the stuff?

 
Old 07-15-2005, 06:19 PM   #2
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

This is a hard one to do. Because sodium is found even naturally in foods, the only way to really reduce your intake is to avoid all pre-packaged foods, canned goods, condiments, beer, and eat as naturally as possible, and watch what you eat at restaurants. Very hard to do, because it takes a lot of time to prepare your own meals all the time.
Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.
It'd be nice if it were as easy as just throwing out your table salt, wouldn't it?

 
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:12 PM   #3
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HELLASRULES
It'd be nice if it were as easy as just throwing out your table salt, wouldn't it?
No kidding... it amazes me that this isn't something the FDA regulates more closely. I mean, I've really knocked out all fast food, cokes, beer, and "greasy" foods, and still am WAY over the limit. I basically drink water, orange juice, and milk and can't even get within sniffing distance of what I am supposed to take in. And it's not like sodium is this GREAT item to get. It's BAD for you!!!

 
Old 07-15-2005, 09:42 PM   #4
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Try a completely natural paleolithic style diet. Very little salt in that...unless you put it on that is

 
Old 07-16-2005, 06:17 AM   #5
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

I wouldn;t worry much about the 15 mg. in a can of beer or the 35 mg. in a can of Diet Pepsi...it's the 2,000 calories in a can of condensed soup and the 1200 mg. in a TV dinner that put the stake in the heart of a 2400 mg. sodium limit. And there's no sodium problem with fried foods...it's the SALT put on after frying that is the culprit...you can deep fry 100 grams of potatoes into French Fries and count only 5 mg. for the sodium in the batch. You could eat them from morning til night without getting a gram of sodium.

But I commiserate: when I open my pantry and look at cans or pull anything from the freezeer for a quick meal I could CRY when I read the sodium content. I HAVE completely given up the hugest sins like pretzels (which I ADORE) and potato chips, Doritos, corn curls, taco chips... <wallowing in self-pity>

Don't manufacturers realize there is a good MARKET out there for a can of delicious UNSALTED Campbell's soup.

Last edited by Lenin; 07-16-2005 at 06:19 AM.

 
Old 07-16-2005, 04:30 PM   #6
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

I HAVE completely given up the hugest sins like pretzels (which I ADORE) and potato chips, Doritos, corn curls, taco chips... <wallowing in self-pity>

Don't manufacturers realize there is a good MARKET out there for a can of delicious UNSALTED Campbell's soup.[/QUOTE]

Hey Lenin,
I buy the salted pretzels and then scrap off most of the salt. The unsalted ones aren't that tasty, are they? So, I still get some...but just don't overdo it.
But I've come to dislike the taste of salt anyway. Two parents with high BP, and salt was out of our house when I was a teenager. Once you get away from the taste of it, you will find it really doesn't taste all that good anymore.

 
Old 07-16-2005, 08:09 PM   #7
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

It's a decent start, HELLASRULES, but hardly combats the problem. Very little of the sodium you take in comes from actual salt (as Lenin alluded to). It's already embedded into just about anything and everything that is processed, manufactured, and mass distributed for consumption. Most of my sodium intake is found from trying to be healthier and eat a turkey sandwich at lunch instead of going to Arby's. Won't help in that area, though, because the deli meat still has thousands of mg of sodium.

I can't remember where I read/heard this, but someone sued the FDA recently over this very issue. I don't know where the lawsuit stands, but it would be really nice if this thing won. Sodium should be a monitored substance just like fat, cholesterol, and all the other "killers" out there.

 
Old 07-16-2005, 11:30 PM   #8
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardinalEmpire.
It's a decent start, HELLASRULES, but hardly combats the problem. Very little of the sodium you take in comes from actual salt (as Lenin alluded to). It's already embedded into just about anything and everything that is processed, manufactured, and mass distributed for consumption. Most of my sodium intake is found from trying to be healthier and eat a turkey sandwich at lunch instead of going to Arby's. Won't help in that area, though, because the deli meat still has thousands of mg of sodium.
CardinalEmpire,

For years, I have brought my own bag lunches to work or to a day's outing -- I KNOW what's in the food I'm eating. Many people with dietary restrictions have learned to cook at home, and buy individual ingredients which have to be assembled in creative ways. It requires a bit of dedicated time, but some labor saving devices exist to help, if one has the money and a place to put them. It might be interesting to weigh the cost of a bread machine (for making your own salt-free bread) or a blender (for making your own salt-free mayonnaise) or a freezer and microwave oven (for storing and then thawing your sodium-free meats and extra bread) VERSUS the cost of paying for meals at restaurants and ready-prepared frozen dinners and sodium-laden snack foods (paying someone else for their labor in preparing the food for us).

The MONEY savings in cooking at home VS purchasing ready-made foods is undeniable. The next question is TIME savings. We have only so much time in the day, and we have choices about how we use it. The project of changing the laws regarding quantities of salt in ready-made foods is to be encouraged -- salt is certainly NOT needed in such large quantities in foods, and it's certainly unhealthy for lots of folks. But it'll likely take years before that happens, and in the meantime one can make other choices. If one decides not to eat all those salt-laden prepared foods, then one alternative is to cook at home.

I have made my own decisions about how I spend (some of) my time. I'm not trying to say you should make the same choices as I have -- just pointing out some "food for thought".

--Rheanna

 
Old 07-17-2005, 06:33 AM   #9
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Oh God Hellas,
If the souls in Hell are fed anything it is probably those BALDY pretzels. I agree, they are awful beyond belief. I have a friend who STARTS scraping the salt off Amish pretzels and manages abouit two of them before she says, "Oh damn, I'll enjoy them THE RIGHT WAY and take a thiazide tomorrow!"

Real life horror: today I have a yen for Hummus. Check the larder for Chickpeeas...my recipe calls for 3 cans, drained. Total sodium: 3675 mg. All I can do is hope that MOST is drained off with the liquid but since I know they start with dried chickpeas, I'm sure a LOT remains in the peas. AND I haven't even LOOKED at the tahini that goes in or tabulated the soy sauce!
Next time I see the dried chickpeas, I'll try them (but oh, so much more mess.) And when Shop-Rite has Can-Can, like this week, the pound cans of chickpeas are $.25...how can I pass them by (my hummus is WONDERFUL!)

Last edited by Lenin; 07-17-2005 at 06:42 AM.

 
Old 07-17-2005, 12:15 PM   #10
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

And Rheanna, as well as cooking our own meals, I cook ahead and purchased a vacuum food saver which saves even more money, because food lasts longer & cooking ahead sure saves time. Best investment I've made.
And I agree Lenin, sometimes you've just got to say what the heck! Life is short and a little indulgence once in awhile doesn't have to be a bad thing. And if you rinse the chick peas, you could get rid of even more of the sodium. That's what I do.
And Cardinal, You can't expect the gov't to be our watchdog for everything. Our health is our own to choose. It's up to us to choose our own lifestyles. You can't list everything bad in something or the label wouldn't fit on the product. I'm allergic to sulfites, which are also in every product imaginable. Not many products list these ingredients up front like they do peanuts (and sometimes soy & wheat). Too many problems to list on a label for everyone who has a food allergy or sensitivity.
So, if you know something is bad for you then you have to read labels and stay aways from it. And warning labels don't stop people from drinking or smoking, so really, would a food label?

 
Old 07-17-2005, 12:51 PM   #11
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
Don't manufacturers realize there is a good MARKET out there for a can of d
elicious UNSALTED Campbell's soup.

I could never understand why they can't come up with a healthy, delicious can of soup without loading it up with so much sodium. After all, many homemade soups taste fantastic, and I'm sure there isn't nearly as much sodium in them . This is also true about many of the frozen dinners, many of which contain close to 2000mg sodium! Can't they prepare a decent tasting frozen dinner without drowning it in so much sodium?
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:27 PM   #12
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Oh, I hear you on that, HELLAS, but what I am saying is that it is next to impossible to avoid sodium no matter what you are eating. Unless you go totally natural, vegan, and/or on a water diet, you have no hope of staying within the recommended amounts of sodium intake. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think that this is a substance found in far excess of any reason and with little rationale for being there. If nutrition recommendations say we should stay within the 2400mg, don't you think that's the FDA's responsibility to make sure it's even somewhat possible? I guess I just think that this is along the lines of EVERY food being packed with cholesterol or saturated fat... there's no reason to do it, but food manufacturers sure accomplish the feat in this case.

 
Old 07-17-2005, 08:15 PM   #13
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Hey Cardinal, Well, the way I see it is the food manufacturer's are well aware that we are addicted to fats and salt and sugar, to name a few. So they just keep people addicted. I've never actually added up the sodium in what I eat, even with high BP, just try to do my best to stay away from it as much as I can.
Having to deal a lot with FDA in my job, all I know is they have so much to deal with, that I guess some things are just not top priority. They have so many new rules & regulations concerning the Bioterrorism Act, in order to keep our food safe and all the watchdogs on the RX drug problems, maybe lesser evils in food aren't in the forefront.
As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see all chemicals removed from our foods, but that isn't happening anytime soon, so I watch what I eat, & where I buy my food as best I can. It's all you can do. And, I think (could be wrong) we need some sodium in our diet. Just not excess. And yes, it is hard to keep withing the 2400mg, but it is possible. Just takes a little extra work.

 
Old 07-18-2005, 05:55 AM   #14
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

CardinalEmpire, more specifically, what foods are really adding to your sodium intake?

 
Old 07-18-2005, 05:57 AM   #15
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Re: Sodium Intake... How to Reduce It?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARIZONA73
I could never understand why they can't come up with a healthy, delicious can of soup without loading it up with so much sodium. . . .
In terms of current regulations, canned products must be a certain pH presumably because of safety concerns. But the pH level renders just about everything tasteless . . . unless you add salt.

Last edited by auntjudyg; 07-18-2005 at 06:34 PM.

 
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