A low sodium, low salt diet shouldn’t be a burden at all! Personally, I have kept to an “under 1000mg” a day diet with out giving up much but fast food (and who misses that anyway?)
When I was first told that my blood pressure was high ( 160/95) and labeled as having hypertension, I decided at that moment to do some serious research into what had created this “new-to-me” health concern. I wanted to find a permanent solution to lower the numbers to an acceptable, healthy range without taking medication.
As I reflected on where I was in life at the moment, mid-life, not overweight, but not exercising regularly either, I began making small changes in my day-to-day lifestyle. I was not going to give in to hypertension.
First, I bought a nutritional handbook that lists most foods and their nutritional content. I decided to try and stay under 500mg of sodium daily. This took some work, but it paid off very well. I had lowered my count to 150/89 in two weeks. But my doctor still was concerned and wanted to see me begin medication, so I went back to the drawing table. And I put off the decision to going on medication for another 30 days.
I found that magnesium is an excellent combatant for excess sodium. I added figs, sunflower seeds and other magnesium rich foods to my daily intake. Yes, this was working, I was now at 140/85. And dropping. Dropping.
Now, when I added a daily aerobic routine of 30 minutes each day I was really making progress. Three months out and I was reading 135/79. Huge advances!
Did I mention that all this time I rarely ate out? When I did find myself in a restaurant, ordering was tricky, but not impossible. Nervous that salt would be added to anything prepared, I would order a salad, no cheese and oil and vinegar on the side. Boring, boring, boring.
I was feeling so good and healthy I began to slip a little, just a little. I ate out a little more often, still I didn’t cook with salt at all, but I abandoned my daily “health breakfast” for pancakes and granola. (I was eating slow-cook oatmeal with figs and seeds topped with soymilk every morning, and loving this tasty creation) I actually forgot about my grand plan. Then, I had my bp read. I was climbing. And I knew that I needed to get back on track, and fast.
Having a culinary background, I cook most everything my family eats. This includes all breads, sauces, everything. And you know what I discovered? Food tastes BETTER with little or NO salt. You can actually TASTE the good food. I have posted many of our favorite recipes at Low Salt Recipes at Cooking-for-Compliments.com And daily updates are added with new and exciting recipes for successful low sodium cooking.
So, now, 10 months out and feeling great. I’m a steady 135/75 and holding! I adhere strictly to under 1000mg of sodium daily, and walk everyday for at least 45 minutes.
I eat well, get outside often and I am enjoying life. It was just a matter of thinking in a new direction, and taking action.
Certainly, you need to consult your doctor with any medical concerns you may have. This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Lowering your salt intake is a first step in treating hypertension, and I hope to provide you with delicious recipes to help you obtain your goals, too.
To your health!
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