Sunday, October 16, 2011

Low Sodium Diet Ain't No Picnic

Well, this week has been a eye opener for me! You know, when you cook you just add a lttle salt here and there and you pour in a can of tomatoes here or a can of beans there - maybe a package of seasonings to the pot. Well, have you ever looked at the sodium content on any of that stuff? You should - you will NOT believe it! I certainly didn't.

I thought - Okay, Dan is suppose to be on a low sodium diet (around 2000 mg) - no big deal. I'd just cut out the salt when I was cooking and NO salt on the table. Well, it's not that simple. For example, we all knew that soup had a lot of sodium - 1/2 cup of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup has 890 mg of sodium - but did you know that 99% Fat Free - No MSG Swanson Chicken Broth has 860 mg in one cup (and you thought it was healthy didn't you)? Also, while speghetti noodles have no sodium, tomato sauce has 260 mg in 1/4 cup! (Just imagine how much would be in spaghetti sauce!)

Now, let's look at boxed sides. Zatarain's Yellow Rice - 950 mg in 1 cup. Uncle Ben's Broccoli Rice au Gratin 720 mg in 1 cup. Garden Rotini (just plain on noodles) has 20 mg in 3/4 cup. Zatarian's Jambalaya Mix 500 mg in 1 cup (that's not counting the sausage!) But the granddaddy of them all - at least so far - is Uncle Ben's Ready Rice Roasted Chicken with a whopping 1020mg in 1 cup. So, this low sodium diet is NOT as easy as it first appeared.

What we/I have had to do is completely rethink, not only WHAT I cook but also HOW I cook and WHAT I to cook with. Just reading the sides of boxes and cans have really opened my eyes to the amount of salt we consume daily without being aware. I can remember hearing people on TV talking about how much salt well eat without knowing it and I always thought it was someone else - not me because I don't salt my food at the table. Okay, I do salt sliced tomatoes and french fries, but that's it. And yes, I would add salt while I was cooking - when the recipe called for it - and I would put my favorite seasoning on meat before I would cook it (Everglades Seasoning), but not anymore! All that changed a week ago.

I think that we are eating better - I don't know if we are below the 2000 mg a day - but I have certainly tried to keep it below that threshold. Sometimes you have to use what you have though - I just try to make sure that if I am going to use something that I know has a higher sodium content in what I am cooking for dinner I will make sure the rest of the day we are especially careful. I guess we shall see how it goes - I will continue to try and and keep Dan doing what he is suppose to be doing - but it isn't easy! Just wish me luck - and let's just say that I am doing a lot more cooking from scratch than I have in a very long time! So far, we are both still going strong!

  We did go out on the boat Friday afternoon - that's where the picture of Dan came from above and this one.  The sky was beautiful and I thought you might enjoy the pictures.

Sunset on Lake June

We took our youngest daughter and our son-in-law out with us Friday evening also for a quick ride around the lake. 

Well, that's it for today - hope all is going well with you - and if any of you out there have any good low sodium recipe's send them my way - I could use the variety!



  1. Gorgeous sunset pictures! I know you will creatively figure out how to get a handle on this sodium thing. Good luck! Dan is lucky to have you.

  2. Hi Carol - thanks for stopping by my blog!
    I can understand your frustration with the sodium - my mom went through it with my dad (he had hemochromatosis) and he couldn't have more than 700mg a day. I'd pull out a can of soup and realize, "holy cow! this could kill my dad!"
    Good luck with the new diet!


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