Welcome to the new Community design. We know there are some big changes to get used to as well some challenges and bugs. Please check out our post about New Updates To The Community as well as Outstanding Bugs. We will continue to collect feedback and bug issues and will work to make improvements.

How Do YOU Cut Out Sodium?

How Do YOU Cut Out Sodium?

I love the Dash seasonings re: cooking, but sodium is so MUCH MORE than cooking with salt, salting food of course.

This is an important "homework assignment" from my Dr. Before my next visit on 11.9

Thanks! :)
«1

Replies

  • BZAH10
    BZAH10 Posts: 5,578 Member
    By reading labels on everything. Sodium is found in so many products that you wouldn't expect. I love my salty foods but I DO try to keep it at a moderate level just for health reasons.
  • mjglantz
    mjglantz Posts: 406 Member
    BZAH10 wrote: »
    By reading labels on everything. Sodium is found in so many products that you wouldn't expect. I love my salty foods but I DO try to keep it at a moderate level just for health reasons.

    Absolutely as @BZAH10 writes.
    Even some foods that are labeled low sodium may have more than you think. If you go with non processed foods you go a long way to cutting out the sodium. And sometimes the low or no salt added have more sodium than regular; e.g., some canned tomatoes.
    I cook a lot and if I have a processed ingredient that is higher in sodium than I'd like I make sure the other ingredients; e.g., for soup are fresh and low/no added sodium. Helps each serving more management.

  • al0481113
    al0481113 Posts: 67 Member
    I always read labels. I don't like salty food at all. If it's salty I don't feel the taste of the food, just salt. I cook separately for me and my boyfriend (he likes salty meal). If I eat out I ask for something what contains a small amount of sodium.
  • HickGurl73
    HickGurl73 Posts: 31 Member
    Y'all are awesome! Thanks so much!
  • Speakeasy76
    Speakeasy76 Posts: 917 Member
    Commercially prepared bread is another culprit for added salt.

    I just heard that there are new guidelines for added salt intake in the US, and most of us get. WAY too much. I'm sure I do, but don't really monitor it either.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,666 Member
    edited October 15
    I would not personally cut out sodium, is that actually recommended?

    Generally, if you cook from whole foods and limit added salt, you won't be high on sodium unless you have a super low goal for specific medical reasons. I cook mostly from whole foods (I do like a few things that are higher sodium, like cottage cheese and pickles, so depends on the day), and so long as I don't log salt added in cooking (which I normally do not, since I have no sodium-related issues like high blood pressure and exercise which tends to allow for more sodium and generally hit or exceed my potassium goal from food, same), I tend to be below what Cronometer has as my minimum sodium and so log some salt at the end of the day to address that, when logging. (I only add salt when cooking, never have salted food after.)

    So tldr, if you don't add salt when cooking or to food after it is cooked and cook largely from whole foods, I would be surprised if your sodium is all that high.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,943 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I would not personally cut out sodium, is that actually recommended?

    Generally, if you cook from whole foods and limit added salt, you won't be high on sodium unless you have a super low goal for specific medical reasons. I cook mostly from whole foods (I do like a few things that are higher sodium, like cottage cheese and pickles, so depends on the day), and so long as I don't log salt added in cooking (which I normally do not, since I have no sodium-related issues like high blood pressure and exercise which tends to allow for more sodium and generally hit or exceed my potassium goal from food, same), I tend to be below what Cronometer has as my minimum sodium and so log some salt at the end of the day to address that, when logging. (I only add salt when cooking, never have salted food after.)

    So tldr, if you don't add salt when cooking or to food after it is cooked and cook largely from whole foods, I would be surprised if your sodium is all that high.

    OP does mention this is on Dr’s advice.

    Yes. Read labels and scratch cook as much as possible.
    I have needed to be low sodium for a decade, and my husband also, for almost as long.

    The good news is you get used to the taste. That doesn’t take long. A month or two, tops. And you get very good at remembering which products are “safe”

    And some low sodium products are beginning to be available that are actually helpful. Pacific brand low sodium tomato soup is one. And Amy’s lower sodium refried beans. Those are staples in our house.
    My husband also especially enjoys Happy Pho brand instant noodle soups.
    He used to adore ramen. But WOW that is astonishingly high sodium.
    The Happy Pho (Amazon has it, and many local grocery stores too) is extremely low sodium. If you add a can of kippers or something that really rounds up the flavor and it still comes in below my husband’s sodium budget.
  • robertw486
    robertw486 Posts: 2,297 Member
    There are plenty of good substitutes if you just look for them and get creative. Sometimes flavor is easily influenced by small portions of fatty stuff, certain veggies and roots, as well as some of the asian type rice seasonings and such. As stated, the worst stuff is the prepared meal or side type things.

    I'm assuming there is a medical need to keep it down lower, but read the below and really impress your doctor....

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10615700/biochemistry-answers-for-common-weight-loss-questions-sodium-warning-long-and-nerdy/p1
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,074 Member
    the most simple start is not eat processed foods and condiments. So..eat a whole foods diet where you prepare everything. I do this as part of the only eating plan that's been successful for me.
    I even buy my chicken without "added sodium water". which the inexpensive bulk chicken always has salt water added.
    Look for No Salt Added tomato sauce and canned tomatoes... even green beans. I use no sodium chicken broth to cook with.

    I didn't cut the salt due to a doctor's order.. it was part of my eating plan..and I lose weight much faster when I cut out all the added salt.

    Also.. I use lemon, lime, herbs and array of vinegars to season my food in cooking and raw dishes.
  • missysippy930
    missysippy930 Posts: 2,529 Member
    I reduce sodium by eliminating processed foods as much as possible. Cook food in batches and use herbs and spices, making leftovers for other meals. Very little canned vegetables and the ones I do use, I choose low sodium if available. I even rinse low sodium canned beans. We prefer fresh or frozen vegetables anyway. My husband liberally uses a hot pepper blend, that contains no sodium (Famous Dave’s is the brand name) on his food, and rarely salts anything at the table.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,666 Member
    edited October 15
    OP does mention this is on Dr’s advice.

    Yeah, but sometimes people misunderstand. Cutting down on sodium or keeping it below 1500 mg is one thing, cutting it out (what OP said) is basically impossible and seems dangerous, so I wanted to make sure OP was clear on whatever the recommendation was (and that we understood).

    The rest of my advice was assuming OP was just trying to keep sodium below a certain level, as that's common advice for various conditions.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,215 Member
    ythannah wrote: »
    Everything everyone has already said.

    Avoid prepared and processed foods as much as possible. Commercial soups, broth and sauces are huge sodium bombs. "Low sodium" products often aren't much better, look for "no salt added" if possible. Cheese is surprisingly high, bread can be also. Sadly for me, meat substitute products are often very high.

    If I eat out, I just accept that any restaurant meal is going to put me way over. It's tricky enough to find meatless options, I have to let the sodium thing go.

    eta weird grammar

    I save bones in the freezer until I need to make stock. My stock has zero sodium yet IMO tastes better than store brand, and I love salt. When it's cooked and cooled, I freeze it in 2.5 - 16 oz plastic food containers that I had saved for this purpose.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,215 Member
    edited October 15
    I posted this on another thread to answer a different question. For this thread, my answer is, "Cook from scratch and use more herbs, especially rosemary." Here's why:

    From Michael Moss's "Salt Sugar Fat," one reason excessive salt is used in highly processed food is to solve the problem of "warmed over flavor."

    https://scalar.usc.edu/works/uiuc-food-networks/media/MichaelMoss_SaltSugarFat2013_2.1.pdf

    ...Among all the miracles that salt performs for the processed food industry, perhaps the most essential involves a plague that the industry calls “warmed-over-flavor,” whose acronym, WOF, is pronounced something like the dog’s bark. WOF is caused by the oxidation of the fats in meat, which gives meat the taste of cardboard or, as some in the industry describe it, damp dog hair, when the meat is reheated after being precooked and added to soups or boxed meals. “Once warmed-over-flavor gets going, you are pretty well dead in the water, ” said Susan Brewer, a professor of food science in the University of Illinois’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science.

    ...This is where salt comes in. Once WOF sets in, salt becomes a convenient antidote for the processed food industry, which is heavily reliant on reheated meats. One of the most effective cures for WOF is an infusion of fresh spices, especially rosemary, which has antioxidants to counteract the meat’s deterioration. But fresh herbs are costly. So manufacturers more typically make sure they have lots of salt in their formulas. The cardboard or dog-hair taste is still there, but it is overpowered by the salt.
  • earlnabby
    earlnabby Posts: 8,176 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I posted this on another thread to answer a different question. For this thread, my answer is, "Cook from scratch and use more herbs, especially rosemary." Here's why:

    From Michael Moss's "Salt Sugar Fat," one reason excessive salt is used in highly processed food is to solve the problem of "warmed over flavor."

    https://scalar.usc.edu/works/uiuc-food-networks/media/MichaelMoss_SaltSugarFat2013_2.1.pdf

    ...Among all the miracles that salt performs for the processed food industry, perhaps the most essential involves a plague that the industry calls “warmed-over-flavor,” whose acronym, WOF, is pronounced something like the dog’s bark. WOF is caused by the oxidation of the fats in meat, which gives meat the taste of cardboard or, as some in the industry describe it, damp dog hair, when the meat is reheated after being precooked and added to soups or boxed meals. “Once warmed-over-flavor gets going, you are pretty well dead in the water, ” said Susan Brewer, a professor of food science in the University of Illinois’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science.

    ...This is where salt comes in. Once WOF sets in, salt becomes a convenient antidote for the processed food industry, which is heavily reliant on reheated meats. One of the most effective cures for WOF is an infusion of fresh spices, especially rosemary, which has antioxidants to counteract the meat’s deterioration. But fresh herbs are costly. So manufacturers more typically make sure they have lots of salt in their formulas. The cardboard or dog-hair taste is still there, but it is overpowered by the salt.

    The absolute worst are the dried emergency rations. I tried samples from several companies and they were all so salty they were inedible. I wasn't looking for anything necessarily for emergencies but more like stuff I can use for camping/backpacking that are less costly as the ones made specifically for that.
  • ldaltonbishop
    ldaltonbishop Posts: 41 Member
    Even though I'm healthy now I went through some rehab a couple of years ago, which included stern keep-sodium-to-1500 mg-per -day lessons. They advised no more than 500 mg per meal. I don't have hypertension so I give myself an 1800 mg goal and often live with failure. As mentioned, it's almost impossible to eat at a restaurant and stay under. Even prepared salads (without dressing!) are stupid high. It's the cheese, croutons, and protein that get you. You might be fine with just fresh produce -- but I hate to pay restaurant prices for things that are so easy and cheap to fix at home. And I want a hot meal at a restaurant.

    Everyone who has answered so far has been on point, so I'm going to try to be very specific.

    *Walmart is the best place I have found for a good variety of no-salt-added canned vegetables. These have become harder to find post-COVID, but Walmart often has them. Kroger, sometimes.

    *Frozen vegetables that are unenhanced (with sauce or, like, breaded okra) almost never have added salt, or very little. But read the labels.

    *Meats that claim to be natural MAY have less sodium than those that don't. So read the labels. And if it doesn't have a label try scanning the barcode into My Fitness Pal. Different brands of pork loin and pork tenderloin vary a lot in sodium content. Even so, they are better than processed lunchmeat. For example, the Kroger pork tenderloin I cooked last night had 390 mg per four ounces. But I had two ounces on my breakfast sandwich for 200, and if I had used lunchmeat ham it would have been approximately 600 mg for two ounces. So it's still a win.
    When I cook a turkey or chicken I save the carcass for broth and cook it in my slow cooker for as long as I can stand it--twelve hours or so--to get all the flavor out of it. It still doesn't qualify as bone broth but it's quite good.

    *Rotisserie chicken is loaded with sodium. I'm sorry. I think they soak it in brine.

    *No salt seasonings I love: Trader Joe's 21-Season(ing?) Salute. Fort Valley Blend from Shenandoah Spice Company. (https://www.shenandoahspicecompany.com/product-category/salt-free/) Ancho chili or chipotle chili powder, which is only that, versus chili powder which is a blend and includes salt.