Diet Low in Salt
A low-salt diet is indicated in cases of water retention, hypertension, heart failure, certain liver and kidney diseases, treatment with corticosteroids and diuretics or after heart surgery.
Sodium is a principle component of salt. Nutritional needs are from 1.2 to 3.3 grams per day, but the average intake in North America is 2.3 to 6.9 gram per day.
There are several levels of restrictions that may vary from one individual to the next. Most of the time, a simple change in eating habits is enough. Certain people should consult a dietitian to reduce their salt intake more.
The first step is to completely reduce table salt and cooking salt as much as possible. You can replace salt with herbs, spices or lemon juice. You can also avoid products that are rich in salt, such as prepared foods.
Products to be avoided
✓ Canned soups, soup mixes, commercial broths and consommes, cubed or concentrated meat extracts (example: Bovril®, Oxo®);
✓ Cold cuts, ham, and smoked, salted or canned meat and fish;
✓ Large quantities of cheese (except cottage cheese or unsalted cheese);
✓ Commercial pickles (example: olives, gherkins, sauerkraut, seaweed);
✓ Commercial sauces (example: soya, teriyaki, chili, barbecue, ketchup, salad dressings, mayonnaise);
✓ Food coated in salt (examples: chips, tortillas, salted peanuts, salted crackers, popcorn, pretzels);
✓ Salted condiments (examples: celery, onion and garlic salts, monosodium glutamate);
✓ Vegetable or tomato juices;
✓ Cake and cookie mixes, instant oatmeal and doughnuts.
To determine if a food or even a medication is rich in sodium, read the label. It is not necessary to calculate the quantity of sodium, but it is practical to be able to recognize products that are rich in sodium.
- 1 mg of sodium chloride = 0.4 mg sodium
- 1 mmol sodium = 23 mg sodium
- Tap or bottle water should not contain more than 1 mmol of salt per liter (23 p.p.m.)
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.