SODIUM AND YOU

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hep93
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   Posted 12/29/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Most liver patients need to control their sodium intake in order to reduce fluid retention.  Here's a very good article from Mayo regarding sodium-containing foods and tips on reducing sodium intake:
 
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/NU00284
hep93
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"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


**David**
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   Posted 1/10/2010 10:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Five years ago, I was told that I had to cut down my intake of sodium. My Hep C was causing leg and ankle swelling. My hepatologist had me keep a 3 week record of my sodium intake. I had already cut down on salt, but was in the 1,200-1,500 mg. a day range. My brother (a chef) explained that in culinary school they taught him that salt is an acquired taste, not one we're born with. I began to not use any salt, canned or processed foods and instead season food with lemon, lime or spices. Within a couple of weeks I stopped missing salt and my intake was down to 800-900 mg. of salt per day. Eventually, I got even better at it and was down to 300-400 mg. a day, at which point my dietitian told me I was getting too little salt and to up it back to around 800 mg. a day. It was not difficult to stay at that point, you simply need to think at the grocery store and look carefully at the labels. One example is tomato juice...it contains a ton of sodium, buy the low sodium version. hep 93, thanks for posting the link in here, it's more easily understood than what I just gassed on about. **David**

hep93
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   Posted 1/10/2010 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
David, it's true that sodium is an acquired taste, although our bodies do require a certain amount of it.  The general population uses far too much of it, particularly in this country.

hep93
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"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


**David**
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   Posted 1/10/2010 9:52 PM (GMT -7)   
hep93, you're so right. When I lessened my sodium intake too much (300-400 mg.), the dietitian has me double up to get my level right. Sometimes I follow directions too well. **David**

arneeb
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   Posted 1/10/2010 11:04 PM (GMT -7)   
hard to believe that there are 800 mg of sodium in one campbell soup can... unbelievable...

vasquez
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/11/2010 4:07 AM (GMT -7)   

How do you get your sodium that low?!! Wow hats off to you guys! It is hard to have a low salt, low fat, low sugar all in the same meal because of all the packaging. I read labels and we never add salt to food or in cooking and have not done so in 10 years, but I doubt our levels are that low. I am feeding my husband who is on the low salt diet of course because of his liver, but I also have to feed three growing boys and myself. We only use half a can of low sodium Campbell’s Select soup every now and again; it runs about 480 mg a can. Mostly use crock-pot with meat and bag of frozen vegetables over plain cook rice. You cannot get anymore plain than that Ha ha except we do use basil, garlic on the meat while cooking sometimes the famous Mrs. Dash. We have salads often which he hates; he is just pain burned out. He does eat too much fruit, so now we have to watch the potassium levels. When can food anything is used we wash food before preparing to remove any salt and most of the cans we use are under 20 mg of sodium. You can get low sodium can goods in green beans, corn, and fruit. We have found that off brands are lower sodium most of the time. We kept cereal on hand usually (Cheerios, Raisin Bran, special K, others) mostly for the kids, but he does not eat that much of it. He would prefer not to eat (he refused meals sometimes) and only eat what he wants not that he is going to always get it. We really have to watch what we drink like: tea, cool aid, fruit drinks, sobee drinks because there is a lot of sodium and or sugar in them. He eats ice too which also has sodium.  It is frustrating. Any ideas tip would be great! to low the slippery sodium foods that most over look like no more pickles in the house. They go missing the same day I buy them it’s hard to say with 5 suspects in the house. Thanks!

 


**David**
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   Posted 1/11/2010 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
vasquez, your post makes it clear that you're using canned and processed foods. They're full of sodium, even when washed. Try using fresh food and instead of just using garlic and herbs, some lemon juice, pepper or red pepper will make the food have more taste to it. If your ice has sodium in it, perhaps you might want to find bottled water with a lower sodium content. Some vegetables have more sodium than others, ie., tomatoes. Check the labels on what you buy at the store. Most cereals have salt in them. If you don't know where the pickles are going, don't bring them home. If the offending items aren't on the shelf, no one will eat them. **David**

hep93
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/11/2010 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   

I agree with David that the best approach is fresh veggies and fruits (or frozen) which have absolutely no added sodium.  I use lemon juice a lot for flavor and to replace salt.  Be very wary of canned or jarred foods and sauces.  You will never be able to completely eliminate sodium in your diet, nor should you.  We do need some sodium.

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


**David**
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   Posted 1/11/2010 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
More ideas regarding sodium content in food. Bread and baked goods are almost always chock full of salt. Pick up a bag of cookies and look at the amount of sodium on the label. Then look at what a serving is. On most items, a serving is less than you might normally use. I looked at a loaf of bread in my house (not my bread, a roommates). On the bag it said there were 170 mg. of salt per serving. A serving is a single slice. A sandwich (including mayo, butter and other fillings) would probably total well over half of the amount of salt your husband should be consuming each day. Also, sandwich meats, sausages, hot dogs are well over the limits for sodium intake. Take the time to add up how much salt you use each day for a week or two. It takes a little doing, but you'll probably be shocked by how much salt (and sugar) is in your diet. This is one area where you can easily help yourself. Vasquez, you mentioned a half can of soup with 480 mg. of sodium. Is that per serving, or an entire can? If it's an entire can, not bad, if it's per serving it's bad. Make your own stocks if possible and not from bouillon or canned stock, even low sodium. and use sweet butter, not salted butter! I hate having to curtail my diet this way, but it's the right choice if I want to remain healthy. Good luck. **David**

**David**
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Date Joined Nov 2009
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   Posted 1/12/2010 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   
In the New York Times (www.nytimes.com) there's front page article about NYC having sodium levels posted in food establishments. Take a look at the article, there is some interesting information. If you don't see the paper (online) today, then do a search on the nytimes site for sodium or salt at a later date. **David**

hep93
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/12/2010 4:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the info, David.  I had to do a search for sodium at the NY Times site to find the article.  They state that 80% of our salt intake is from packaged and restaurant foods.  So to reduce the amount in those foods would certainly decrease the amount we consume...though this is to happen over a 5-year period, in NY.  With packaged foods, though, it would affect the entire country.  They're on the right path!

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


deedee48
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 1/12/2010 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Gardening is a great way to get fresh veg. It's also a nice to get the kids and grandkids involved. My oldest grandson especially likes digging, he looks to see what he can find. He actually dug up cars and army guys his dad and Uncle use to play with. He has also found very old bottles, still in good shape. It's amazing to me since we have had a garden in our yard for 22 years so it has been dug up and turned over and over again. I really enjoy gardening and eating it and canning and freezing it for the winter. We plant tomatoes,potatoes,cucumbers,onions,garlic,basil parsley,green peppers,zucchini. We also go to a local farm and buy other fresh veg. like broccoli,cauliflower,pumpkin,swiss chard,kale ,fruits,etc. It saves us a bundle and it's better for us to eat.
G----good
A----aroma
R----relaxing
D----delicious
E----enjoy
N----nutritious
yeah Now I can't wait for the nice weather to get here.
 
Take care ,
Dee Dee

vasquez
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/13/2010 12:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your responds; Thanks for the links. We already do these things and have been for a very long time because my father is diabetic so we were looking for sugar, but now we look for sodium too. We use mostly frozen vegetables and nothing else frozen because of the processing and have done so long before knowledge of liver problems. I just want everyone to know there are other very low choices that cost less and every great now and again we do use the under 20 mgs cans (mostly extra fruit) and I do wash the foods and use fresh water to heat them. I do think it helps. Yes, baked goods are very high. Safeway bread is the lowest we have seen at 150 mg of sodium per slice; most are around 230 per slice. Your right gardening is the cheapest way to fresh food if that is a possible choice. It no longer is for us. I would love to say I going to make tomato sauce from scratch, but it can be worst if you use package season mixes, which I do not because I do not like their taste. The lowest sauce jar is around 340 mg, which is not too bad. It also cost 2 dollars verse more than 10 for fresh tomatoes then cooked down in to sauce using only fresh herbs. No one should eat cookies, but everyone does time to time especially in a house with young kids. We often make them ourselves which also cost more than just buying them. My husband only gets 2 small ones it not too often though. I think it would be cruel to have rest of family getting a goodie snack (birthday, holiday) while he watched. Sometimes he does not mind I ask and sometimes he will have something different. It only takes one meal to undue a month of hard work. No one should eat fast food because it can kill healthy people. I can admit I will have Pizza (sometimes homemade, not always) with the kids every month while husband with liver problems has fish. The kids and l hate fish, so it works for us and lucky he likes fish. Tips for cutting the bad from pizza used very good quality meat and use very little of it and use minimal amount of low salt cheese or lowest sodium cheese in store. Then finish with lots of vegetables. Check the frozen bags because they are not all good some are very high in sodium. I have seen carrots over 200 mg so I look for salt free no salt added frozen vegetables. Like I said, it is hard to feed large family with different needs. The good news, we all should eat that way, faithfully. Think about how much you really use verse what the serving size and do the math it makes a difference. Kids they want enough sauce to taste it. Maybe 2 or 4 so you need to see what the real about is. I still doubt with all the effort we put into it our levels are really ever that low in less you don’t eat on some days because we only eat once a day in our house and no they are not big meals at all, small pates health portions. Kids get more of course they need breakfast.

hep93
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/13/2010 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Vasquez, I make my own sauce using "no salt added" tomato sauce and low-sodium or fresh plum tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs.  There's much less sodium than jarred sauce and it makes so much that I freeze it in individual portions.  I think it's much tastier than the jarred, also.
 
I applaud you for your diligence and for the whole family eating healthful meals.
 
Hugs,
Connie
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


hep93
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/22/2010 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   

David found this informative article at Boston.com:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/01/22/half_a_teaspoon_less_salt_daily_may_save_lives/?s_campaign=8315


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


bostonmike
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 1/23/2010 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Just curious if most of you are watching fat content and how much sugar intake the low sodium or no-salt foods have. Most of the no-salt foods with 0 sodium listed on the label I eat the most of, primarily pasta, extra virgin olive oil and baked potatoes. Some products like no-salt bread 10mg. a slice and carrots which i use alot of for juicing is 26 mg.s' of sodium for 3 oz. i read on one website. Some fresh veggies have 0mg. and some have a few like a medium tomato is 4 mg. But I noticed I eat alot of pasta everyday with chicken about 3 or 4 oz. a day with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, green & red peppers, herbs & olive oil which is high in fat calories. the pasta, rice bread & potatoes are carbs as well as fruit. I have fruit, half or small banana, orange or apple with a rice cake in the morning. The carbs turn to sugar. Also, I eat dry no-salt almonds,a handful a day for a snack, no-salt potato chips gotta have them with tuna, and no-salt butter which has 0mg. of sodium,but has fat calories and sometimes sherbert ice cream for some kind of a treat on the weekend. My doctor said he was more concerned about the sodium than the sugars and fat intake. Because I am still retaining fluid and the amount of water & fluids I drink to 2 liters a day, which is almost impossible cause the medication make my mouth so dry and very thirsty. Since this no-salt or low sodium diet I eat the same things over and over daily, a creature of habit lately. I go to the websites posted on here for new recipes and sometimes try a couple,but usually continue to make pasta,chicken & veggies. Fruit. Fish and tuna,boiled eggs 1 or 2 times a week or just plain pasta & veggies and leave out the chicken. Lately I been doing that alot. Stopped the red meat too.

hep93
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/23/2010 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Mike, it sounds like you are paying close attention to labels and what you eat.  After awhile, it becomes a lifestyle change.  Nobody can do it perfectly and certainly not 100% of the time, but the goal is to be as good to our bodies as possible.  A lot of the no-fat or low-fat choices are loaded with sugar to make up for taste.  Simple carbs are my downfall.  Complex carbs like pasta (especially whole wheat or whole grain) are okay in moderation.  Olive oil is a "good" fat.

Being in Boston, I would think you would have access to a lot of fresh seafood.  How about some shrimp with the pasta, just for variety?

I have the dry mouth problem, also.  Try sugar-free hard candies or sugar-free gum.   wink   And keep up the good work!

Congrats on stopping the red meat!  Your liver will thank you!  Pork tenderloin is a good substitute.  Look for them on sale.  Very little fat and delicious.

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Post Edited (hep93) : 1/23/2010 3:21:30 PM (GMT-7)


**David**
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Date Joined Nov 2009
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   Posted 3/4/2010 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Tonight (March 4, 2010) on the NBC Nightly News, there's going to be a report on salt in ones diet. I'm not sure how they're going to present it, but I'll be listening. Where I live (East Coast) it comes on at 6:30 PM. **David**
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