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Pros and Cons of a Low Sodium Diet: What You Need to Know

Low Sodium Diet Article

If you are looking to improve your health, then you may have considered a low sodium diet. A low sodium diet can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, it is important to understand the pros and cons of this type of diet before making a decision. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a low sodium diet so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for you!

Low Sodium Diet Article

What is a Low Sodium Diet? 

A low sodium diet is defined as a dietary pattern that includes no more than 2000 mg of sodium per day. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming no more than 1500 mg of sodium per day for optimal heart health.  The average American consumes about 3400 mg of sodium per day, that’s over a teaspoon of table salt every day.  A low sodium diet can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and improve kidney function.

Pros and Cons of a Low Sodium Diet

PRO: Lowers Blood Pressure

One of the biggest benefits of a low sodium diet is that it can help to lower blood pressure. For people with hypertension, this can be a lifesaving change. Even for people who don’t have high blood pressure, reducing sodium intake can have a positive impact on heart health.

CON: Limited Food Choices

One of the drawbacks of a low sodium diet is that it can be limiting in terms of food choices. Many processed and packaged foods are high in sodium, so avoiding them can be difficult. This can make eating out or traveling challenging.

PRO: Improves Heart Health

As mentioned above, a low sodium diet can improve heart health. This is because reducing sodium intake can help to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.

CON: Requires Planning and Preparation

Another downside of a low sodium diet is that it requires planning and preparation. This can be time-consuming and may not be realistic for everyone.

PRO: Reduces Risk of Stroke

A low sodium diet can also reduce the risk of stroke. This is because high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. By reducing sodium intake, you can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of having a stroke.

CON: May Cause Dehydration

One of the potential side effects of a low sodium diet is dehydration. This is because sodium helps to regulate fluid levels in the body. When you reduce sodium intake, you may need to drink more water to stay hydrated.

PRO: Supports Weight Loss

For people who are trying to lose weight, a low sodium diet can be beneficial. This is because high sodium foods tend to be high in calories. By avoiding these foods, you can help to reduce calorie intake and support weight loss.

CON: May Cause Muscle Cramps

Another potential downside of a low sodium diet is that it may cause muscle cramps. This is because sodium helps to regulate muscle function. When you reduce sodium intake, you may experience cramping, particularly during exercise.

Con: Food will not taste the same

Salt is used as a universal flavor improver because at low concentrations it will reduce bitterness, but increase sweet, sour and umami, which is desirable for sweet recipes. At higher concentrations it suppresses sweetness and enhances umami, which is good for savory things.

Pro:  Food will have a more natural flavor

When you eat a diet low in salt, eventually your sensitivity to salt and other tastes gets stronger. As you eventually get accustomed to a diet that stimulates your salt-receptive taste buds less, you can enjoy more flavors in natural foods. This stronger taste ability isn't just limited to the taste sensation of salt.

Foods High in Sodium and how to avoid them. 

First, avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods are often high in sodium due to added preservatives and flavorings. Second, cook at home using fresh ingredients whenever possible. This will help you to control the amount of sodium in your diet. Finally, be sure to check food labels carefully. Some foods that are marketed as "healthy" may actually be high in sodium.

  • Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar and anchovies.
  • Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza.
  • Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam and chili.
  • Salted nuts.
  • Beans canned with salt added.

Overall, there are both benefits and drawbacks to a low sodium diet. It is important to weigh these factors carefully before making a decision about whether or not this type of diet is rightfor you. If you have any health concerns, it is always best to speak with a doctor before making any changes to your diet.  If you need a low sodium in any of your meals just let us know in the notes of your order