3 Recommendations for Reducing Sodium Intake

Have you been diagnosed with hypertension and have you been advised to reduce your sodium intake? Here are 3 tips for doing this.
3 Recommendations for Reducing Sodium Intake

Last update: 13 November, 2020

For many people, reducing their sodium intake is unavoidable, because their cardiovascular health depends on it. This mineral is one of the most abundant in the body and performs functions as important as ensuring nerve impulse transmission.

However, high intake is associated with poor prognosis in individuals with hypertension. That’s why in this article we’re going to give you several recommendations to reduce it in your diet. If you put them into practice, you’ll notice your health improving in the medium and long term.

However, these tips must only be followed by those who have problems with this mineral. Also, for athletes or people who are exposed to a high level of sweating, the indications may be different. If you have any questions, make sure to ask a doctor.

How to reduce your sodium intake

Next, we’ll discuss dietary techniques that’ll help you reduce sodium in your diet. Remember that if you have doubts about reducing your sodium intake, the best option is always to consult a specialist, who’ll be able to help you create an optimal diet.

1. Beware of canned foods

Pickles or canned foods are a good choice for off-season products or longer product life. They’re an attractive and convenient way to consume certain vegetables throughout the year.

Canned legumes, for example, are classified as healthy processed foods. Their regular intake guarantees an adequate fiber supply, which is directly related to better intestinal health. This is affirmed by research published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, where they’re supported in reducing circulation problems in older adults.

However, pickles and olives often contain a high sodium content, which may be harmful to certain people. Experts link the dietary intake of this mineral to an increase in blood pressure, although the latest scientific articles show some discrepancy in this respect.

However, until the contrary is certified, the medical prescription is to reduce salt in hypertensive patients.

Jars of fresh food.
The amount of sodium in pickles is very high and therefore harmful to hypertensive patients.

3. Reduce sodium intake through sauces

Sauces usually contain high amounts of salt. In reducing sodium intake, it is beneficial to remove these foods from your usual diet.

However, the worst thing about these products is not their mineral content, but their excessive caloric contribution. In some cases, the presence of trans-type lipids in their composition is another negative factor. These fats are linked to an increased risk of developing chronic inflammatory diseases, according to an article published in BMJ magazine.

If you ever want to eat sauce, it’s best to consume it homemade. This way, you’ll know what the ingredients are and where they’re from.

When buying industrial sauce, it’s essential to look at the label and avoid those containing high amounts of sodium, lipids, and trans type additives. It’s good to advise on this and to corroborate the nutritional tables that accompany the packaging.

3. Avoid fast food

Fast food industries often add large amounts of salt to foods to improve the taste. This is why their sodium contents are high. Also, meals from fast-food chains contain chemical additives that can be harmful to health. These foods tend to be fried or battered, which further reduces their nutritional quality.

When considering a balanced and healthy diet, you need to include fresh foods in your diet. At the same time, it’s advisable to reduce the consumption of processed foods, to avoid the contribution of substances that may be harmful to the cardiovascular system.

As part of the strategy for addressing high blood pressure, nutritionists recommended drastically reducing the consumption of fast food. This way, they ensure that the patient doesn’t have direct access to food that complicates the internal fluid balance, leading to increased tension figures.

Three hamburgers.
Fast food is not healthy, as it has high salt content and chemical additives that improve its appearance for sale.

Decreasing sodium intake may be necessary in some cases

If you have high blood pressure, a specialist will probably recommend you decrease the sodium intake in your diet to avoid complications arising from the progression of this illness. To meet that guideline, it’s important to consider the advice we have given you in this article.

Remember that the basis of a healthy diet is variety and, above all, the predominance of fresh products and vegetables. It seeks to combine good nutrition with regular exercise to promote good health.

Finally, if you’re an athlete, consult a nutrition professional before deciding to reduce your dietary sodium intake. Otherwise, you could compromise electrolytic balance and thus your athletic performance.

It might interest you...
7 Foods to Help Regulate Your Sodium and Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
7 Foods to Help Regulate Your Sodium and Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

Sodium is only bad for you if you have too much. Today, we're going to show you some foods that can help regulate sodium levels to keep your kidney...

  • Emmanuel A., Mattace Raso F., Neri MC., Petersen KU., et al., Constipation in older people: a consensus statement. Int J Clin Pract, 2017.
  • Pathak CM., Ix JH., Anderson CAM., Woodell TB., et al., Variation in sodium intake and intra individual change in blood pressure in chronic kidney disease. J Ren Nutr, 2018. 28 (2): 125-128.
  • Souza RJ., Mente A., Maroleanu A., Cozma AI., et al., Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta analysis of observational studies. BMJ, 2015.
  • Castro-Martínez, María Guadalupe, et al. “Ácidos grasos trans de la dieta y sus implicaciones metabólicas.” Gaceta Médica de México 146.4 (2010): 281-288.
  • Pastor-Zarandona, Omar Alonso, and Juan Manuel Viveros-Paredes. “Ingesta de comida rápida y su influencia en la producción de N-aciletanolaminas involucradas en el ciclo hambre-saciedad.” Revista mexicana de trastornos alimentarios 8.2 (2017): 171-184.
  • Soto, Juan Ramón. “Tratamiento no farmacológico de la hipertensión arterial.” Revista Médica Clínica Las Condes 29.1 (2018): 61-68.
  • Sánchez, Ramiro A., et al. “Guías latinoamericanas de hipertensión arterial.” Revista chilena de cardiología 29.1 (2010): 117-144.