Archive for Monday, October 27, 2008

Read labels, consider portion sizes to control sodium intake

Dietitian Carol Gilmore describes how to add flavor while lowering sodium intake.

October 27, 2008


Doctors wish Americans would shake salt habit

Salt is an important part of a balanced diet - but doctors say eating too much can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. The American Heart Association estimates high blood pressure affects one out of every three adults. 6News reporter Karrey Britt takes a look at the issue and how you can cut back on the sodium. Enlarge video

Carol Gilmore, a registered dietitian at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, watches her sodium intake and urges others to do the same. Most people consume more than the recommended one teaspoon of salt per day.

Carol Gilmore, a registered dietitian at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, watches her sodium intake and urges others to do the same. Most people consume more than the recommended one teaspoon of salt per day.

Carol Gilmore, assistant director of Food and Nutrition Services at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, offers the following tips for those who would like to watch the sodium intake:

¢ Be a label reader. If an item is labeled "heart healthy" on the front, it doesn't necessarily translate to the most nutritious item on the shelf. You need to flip to the nutrition label.

¢ Don't forget to consider portion and serving sizes. Sodium is just like calories. If you eat 2 cups, then that's four times the amount of sodium listed in a 1/2 cup serving size. Size is even a consideration in bread products. For example, one bun had 220 milligrams versus a slightly larger one with 360 milligrams. Gilmore recommends whole grain breads.

¢ Dilute items that are high in sodium such as salad dressings and soups. For example, Gilmore uses a can of soup as a starting point and then adds vegetables and other ingredients. She bumps up the flavor by adding low-sodium chicken broth or a bit of wine. Not only is she increasing the amount of food, but significantly lowering the amount of sodium. She recommends using an Asian rice wine vinegar to reduce salad dressings.

¢ Eat fresh and frozen vegetables over canned. For example, a 1/2 cup serving of canned corn has 310 milligrams of sodium versus no sodium in a 2/3 cup serving of frozen corn.

¢ Mix no-sodium or reduced-sodium items with regular sodium items until you develop an appreciation for lower-sodium foods. Gilmore said tomato sauce and paste are good examples.

¢ Salt is salt. Some soup is being labeled as healthier because it contains sea salt. Not true; weight for weight they are the same, she said.

¢ The lower-sodium meats generally can be found behind the meat counter. Don't be afraid to ask grocery employees for help.

¢ If you are watching your weight, Gilmore recommends looking at caloric content first and then sodium content. She said the fat content will take care of itself when watching those numbers.

¢ Don't overlook drinks. One can of diet soda has 40 milligrams of sodium. That can add up if you consume several a day.

¢ Be aware that most foods naturally contain sodium. For example, an 8-ounce serving of milk contains about 120 milligrams. "Milk is milk. There's no such thing as low-sodium milk," Gilmore said. It's a great source of protein, potassium and calcium, so people have to make room for it in their low-sodium diet.

¢ It's better to add a few granules of salt on top of food before eating rather than to mix it in while cooking, Gilmore says. That way you get a bigger taste while reducing the sodium.


Sharon Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

I have been on a low sodium diet for years. You would be surprised at the amount of sodium in a number of things. Ketchup is loaded with it, as is turkey. If you buy deli meats, they often have a brochure from their suppliers listing sodium content. I've learned how to make lots of low sodium meals, even chili. I use low or no sodium ingredients and then add spices. I drain and rinse canned ingredients with sodium. Read, read, read. I don't know why they didn't have an article about the shootings. Maybe it's time we focused less on the violence in society. Had this article been about the shootings, you can bet there would have been tons of comments. We thrive on the violent and negative and scorn anything postive.

kusp8 9 years, 4 months ago

How did this story make the LJW but not the story about the 3 students shot at University of Central Arkansas!?

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