Heart is the most special organ in the human body. It is our duty to maintain the health of our heart. Most of the adults as well as kids consume too much sodium which can lead to high blood pressure resulting in heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. It is shocking to know that an average child consumes more than twice the amount of sodium required by the body daily.
Think Out of the Box
Think out of the box while cooking. Try to replace salt with every other low-sodium seasoning or spice possible. Opt for fresh lemon or lime juice, fresh herbs or salt-free herb blends and vinegar to enhance the flavour of your favourite dishes while maintaining the nutrient contents.
Even with all these substitutes we may be reducing a maximum of 10 percent of our day’s sodium intake, as this is the amount of salt we add during cooking or at the table. The main culprits for increased sodium content in our body are packaged and processed foods which contribute to more than 75 percent of the sodium we eat.
Children eat what we cook. If we habituate them to more salt right from childhood they would seek for food with increased salt content as they grow. This will lead to a ‘salt tooth’ which may cause health problems in life later. Hence it is our responsibility to limit salt right from their childhood age by cooking with low-sodium alternatives.
Check Nutrition Labels
Nutrition facts panel plays a key role in helping to select foods (canned, frozen and packaged) that have reduced salt content in them. This is because the amount of sodium in foods differs brand to brand by hundreds of milligrams. The website www.firsteatright.com contains detailed information on the Nutrition Facts Panel.
Opt for High-Potassium and Low-Sodium Foods
The foods we eat contain too much of sodium and too little of potassium in our diet. Whole and unprocessed foods are naturally low in sodium and are good diet foods. Fruits and veggies are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral which helps to balance blood pressure, with minimum sodium contained in them. Children below 13 years of age require around 3,000 to 4,500 milligrams of potassium per day while others required 4,700 milligrams daily. Potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, bananas, oranges and raisins are some of the vegetables and fruits which have maximum potassium content in them. Make it a must to eat at least 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables daily which serves the dual purpose of meeting your daily potassium demands and reducing the intake of sodium-packed processed foods on your plate.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.