Low-Sodium Diets Part 1- Why do we need them?

Low-sodium diets can be a hassle, but in some situations they are necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Still, it can be hard to stay motivated to keep up with these diets if you find yourself often wondering "what's the point?". This "part 1" post explains a low-sodium diet and how it's beneficial to you or your loved one.

Most commonly, you will find a majority of your sodium intake in your average, everyday table salt. It’s easy to grab it and shake it on almost every meal, even though it’s usually already been added into the food during both processing and preparation stages. This results in the average American consuming 5 teaspoons of salt on a daily basis when the body only actually needs 1/4 teaspoon a day. This high-level intake can result in various body complications such as high blood sugar levels and swelling. These can be inconvenient as well as dangerous if they’re not monitored and controlled.

So what does sodium really do? The correct amount monitors fluid retention and regulates blood sugar and blood pressure levels. But with too much in your body, it can’t carry out its functions properly which can result in high blood sugar, high blood pressure, swelling, etc.

If you’re already suffering from certain complications due to high sodium intake, or even if you’re looking to prevent them in the future, a low-sodium diet may be the best option for you. There are many tips and tricks for maintaining this type of lifestyle without really changing the overall base of your meals. Most foods actually come with a reduced sodium option so you don’t have to worry about missing out on your favorite breakfasts, lunches, and dinners!

If you’re not sure that you or your loved one can manage these procedures on a daily basis, a home care caregiver can be there to assist in nutrition, meal planning and preparation, taking and recording blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and monitoring swelling.