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Old 03-07-2008, 10:38 AM   #1
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Sodium Surprises!

For a long time I thought I "watched" my sodium intake simply because I didn't purchase prepackaged foods, only added 1/2 of the salt required by the recipe, and didn't use a salt shaker with my meals. When I began the low sodium version of the DASH eating program, I discovered that, basically, I was sodium "illiterate".

I don’t want to be sodium literate anymore and I think some of you don’t either. For that reason I am starting this thread so each one can teach one about what we learn about sodium as we go along….I’ll start by saying that I’ve learned that the recommended upper limit of daily sodium consumption for most healthy adults is 2,400 milligrams (mg). But if you have high blood pressure and want to reduce your pressures, the hypertension specialists who developed the low sodium version of the DASH eating plan recommend that you reduce your sodium intake to 1,500 mg to help control your blood pressure. In order to do this, you should select foods that have a % Daily Value of 5 or less….and avoid foods that have a % Daily Value of 20 or more.

Keep in mind that it’s important to keep track of serving size…a food may contain only 5 percent of the recommended daily value but if you eat 20 servings, you’ve eaten your day’s quota…lylone, I think of the head’s up you gave me months ago…thank you for this!

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-07-2008 at 03:08 PM.

 
Old 03-17-2008, 04:33 AM   #2
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Re: Sodium Surprises!

I had a sodium surprise yesterday...treated myself to my favorite bread, a crusty round loaf of Rosemary Olive Oil to eat with my DASH Tortellini and Bean Soup. Didn't read the label before purchasing the bread, nor did I read it before eating the bread.

1 slice contained 0% transfat, 0% cholesterol, but 15 % sodium!! Since I am on a low sodium diet 15% is double what I should be taking in...what that means is that the slice of bread I ate was 1/3 of my daily share of sodium...

Now for those of you nay sayers....or those of you who think I'm nit picky, I'm still doing my low sodium version of DASH and just yesterday got readings of 103/79 and 121/76. Oh, and today my pressures jumped up to 132/78 and 126/86 (I have to suspect the bread) so I'm going to read those labels before I put something in my mouth!!!

Bethsheba

Thanks to cpap and to the low sodium version of the DASH diet, I am currently med free!

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-17-2008 at 09:30 AM.

 
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:22 AM   #3
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Re: Sodium Surprises!

Beth,

we should all test ourselves for being salt-sensitive. It is quite easy. I think the proper testing is done under controlled conditions over a period of a week or two by carefully controlling the salt intake and measuring the blood pressure response. It is not very practical or doable for most. That is why our doctors tell us to restrict our sodium chloride intake just to be on the safe side. Even people who are not salt-sensitive benefit from it. Having an elevated blood pressure reading after an increased sodium consumption would indicate being a salt-sensitive person.

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Old 03-17-2008, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Sodium Surprises!

Beth,

If that isn't proof of the pudding or however it goes!!! Sodium is similar to calories, if limiting them is going to help you keep healthy & lower your b/p, then each mg or calorie must be taken into account & they add up quicker than you think.

Dr. said not to lower my sodium any more but if & when I lower my HCTZ, then I imagine I will.

Keeping on one's budget is another example. I have never had to pay critical atttention to my budget but never have gotten in trouble. Even as a kid making nickels & dimes, I automatically just allocated money to savings etc. My twin on the other hand spend every penny she made. So she had to learn to budget. Sounds like you are definately sodium sensitive. Fam

 
Old 03-17-2008, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: Sodium Surprises!

Quote:
Originally Posted by famnd View Post
... Sodium is similar to calories, if limiting them is going to help you keep healthy & lower your b/p, then each mg or calorie must be taken into account & they add up quicker than you think.
I'm finding out how very true this is...when I did the DASH challenge, although I bought low sodium products (if they were on my menu), I didn't check the labels of staples like bread. I really think my pressures have dropped more because (except for my favorite bread) I'm looking at the labels.

Quote:
Dr. said not to lower my sodium any more but if & when I lower my HCTZ, then I imagine I will.
Famnd, it's good that you mention this for several reasons...I probably should remind others to read their package inserts for their meds before going on the low sodium version of DASH because it could have a detrimental effect. Going on the regular version of DASH wouldn't hurt, I don't think.

Famnd, were you identical twins? Or fraternal? Interesting how the two of you differed in this way.

Yup, I think I am sodium sensitive...always poo poohed Lenin when he talked about salt sensitivity but I know better now. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, ! But the DASH diets have shown everyone could benefit by them...it's just with the low sodium DASH, pressures dropped the lowest.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-17-2008 at 12:52 PM.

 
Old 03-17-2008, 12:57 PM   #6
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Re: Sodium Surprises!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
...we should all test ourselves for being salt-sensitive. It is quite easy. I think the proper testing is done under controlled conditions over a period of a week or two by carefully controlling the salt intake and measuring the blood pressure response.
As you know, I think it's very important to rule out what may be causing our hypertension...and the amount of salt in our diets is certainly one of those possible causes...I think it is practical and doable, but it takes a certain amount of motivation. The three years of side effects from bp meds was motivation enough for me.

Quote:
...That is why our doctors tell us to restrict our sodium chloride intake just to be on the safe side. Even people who are not salt-sensitive benefit from it.
I think there are many reasons to reduce the amount of salt in our diets...keeping the kidneys healthy for starters.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-17-2008 at 12:58 PM.

 
Old 03-17-2008, 02:24 PM   #7
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Re: Sodium Surprises!:eek:

About 10 yrs agao, before my b/p went sky high, I went on a very low sodium diet. I calculated every mg of sodium just like I do calories. I did it for 8 wks & didn't see any change in my b/p which was higher than normal then.

However now that I am in my 60's I might be salt sensitive because I understand our kidneys do not function as well. Being on a diuretic prevents me from doing that experiment again. My blood sodium is low so my Dr. doesn't think it would be a good idea to not to eat any salt. Of course, I do measure my salt & usually limit it to a 1/2- one tsp/ a day. I don't use salt in cooking as I like to see it & taste it on food. My son uses a lot of hot sauce instead of salt. He is still a success story in that he lowered his b/p from 160's to a perfect 120/80 by losing about 60 lbs & eating a healthier diet, cutting out salt, & exercising.

Always good to make sure one is getting enough iodine when going salt free. The daily amount of iodine is in most vitamins as well as sea food.
Probably most fruits & vegetables get it from the soil, but if you aren't getting it from these sources it might be a concern.

Beth, your b/p numbers are outstanding. Fam

Last edited by famnd; 03-17-2008 at 02:28 PM.

 
Old 03-17-2008, 02:56 PM   #8
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Re: Sodium Surprises!:eek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by famnd View Post
...However now that I am in my 60's I might be salt sensitive because I understand our kidneys do not function as well. Being on a diuretic prevents me from doing that experiment again. My blood sodium is low so my Dr. doesn't think it would be a good idea to not to eat any salt.
Thanks so much for explaining that, Famnd. Again, I do know there are warnings on some of the med inserts, but as we both know, our doctors often aren't aware of the warnings and neither are we....so again, thanks for the info.

Quote:
... He is still a success story in that he lowered his b/p from 160's to a perfect 120/80 by losing about 60 lbs & eating a healthier diet, cutting out salt, & exercising.
Oh, Famnd. I am so very, very happy for him and he's got you to thank for his good health...lucky guy!

Quote:
...Always good to make sure one is getting enough iodine when going salt free.
Excellent point!!

Quote:
...Beth, your b/p numbers are outstanding....
Famnd, I'll be the first to say I was quite surprised!! My first reaction was to jump on the scale to see if I was dehydrated, , but no change there and my skin seems to bounce back ok so I'm pretty sure it's an accurate read. But I'm fine tuning...I'm now starting to read labels and I look for lower sodium and higher amounts of fiber. Maybe it's helping.

Must get on your weight loss thread. Have a bit of a bug right now so I'm not up to exercising...but the ice is finally disappearing from the sidewalks so I can get outside soon with my little pup and walk!

Will meet you over on your weight loss thread.

Bethsheba

 
Old 03-31-2008, 06:33 AM   #9
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Re: Sodium Surprises!:eek:

My pressures are up and not due to sodium surprises because I knew better...processed meats (hot dogs) and potato chips are no nos!!!

Pressures have been running a healthy below 120/80, but have jumped to 152/90 in just a few days. Why? Although a number of factors influence bp regulation, I suspect the real culprit was falling off of my DASH wagon, .

Ate at some friends...had two hot dogs and chips, which I know are high in sodium (and calories). Checked the sodium content after the fact and the 2 hot dogs contained 700 mg of sodium each, which means that I ate my day's quota of 1400 mg of sodium with these dogs alone!!! And I might add, they didn't taste that hot. Haven't had the courage to check the chips...had a plate full (spilled the bag, ughhh) so who knows how many mg of sodium those contained.

On the bright side of things, I did find a wonderful source of sodium info which I now have bookmarked. It contains lots and lots of info and I'll be referring to it daily (as I do my DASH book) to be sure.

Pressures are dropping, but still high today...134/90...doggone, and it took about 3 weeks to get my diastolic down into the high 70s,.

Bethsheba

 
Old 03-31-2008, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Sodium Surprises!:eek:

Hi Beth,

Are you drinking enough water? Sodium & water go together so perhaps if you drank any where from 8-16oz of filtered water over about 1 hr before going out with friends maybe that would help get rid of the sodium faster. Add a little extra exercise to speed things along.

Maybe you could bring along a low sodium dish that you made to share with your friends if you are going to someone's home. If I'm going out with my husband while traveling, I just bring my salad in & eat it.

You may need to set aside something salty to have once in awhile if you feel you just have to have it. Just like counting calories & having some designated treats on certain days. Or spending money when we allow special purchases just for fun even if you don't need them. But just like our diet we buy the basics first, the go for the extra's. Fam

 
Old 04-01-2008, 02:33 PM   #11
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Re: Sodium Surprises!:eek:

To my amazing surprise, I found a bag of potato chips at my local health food store that had 70 mg of sodium a serving, and 5 in a bag...and it was a decent sized bag!!! They were cooked in olive oil with herbs, and they were fantastic. 350 mg of sodium for the whole bag, and they did not taste lo-salt I can tell you that.

There appear to be actual low sodium foods out there that are actually good!!! Too bad they are so few and far between and take enormous effort to find.

tamuprof45

 
Old 04-01-2008, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: Sodium Surprises!:eek:

If I eat chips, I eat them in moderation, and I don't eat Doritos. They are packed in MSG. I mostly stick with Sun Chips and Garden of Eatin' Blue Tortilla Chips (No Salt Added, which only has 10 mg of sodium per serving).
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Last edited by Storm Moon; 04-01-2008 at 03:32 PM.

 
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