Lowering Your Blood Pressure by Lowering Your Salt
Consumer Reports analyzed 37 supermarket staples and found large amounts of sodium in unexpected places -- including some foods that don't necessarily taste salty at all. For example, a cup of Kellogg's Raisin Bran contains 350 milligrams (mg) of sodium, while a half-cup of Friendship 1% low-fat cottage cheese has 360 mg. And a single Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain White Bagel is loaded with 440 mg. Consumer Reports advises consumers to check food labels for sodium content. These types of sodium surprises present challenges for people charged with cooking for the holidays.
If you are diabetic then one thing you will need to keep track of is your salt intake. Salt helps contribute to high blood pressure which is one of the complications of diabetes, so it is in your interests to monitor your salt intake when cooking.
In the shops there are many foods that advertise 'reduced salt' or 'no salt' as alternatives to regular brands. However, it is important to still check all food labels when shopping as it may be deceptive. It is best to stay away from 'ready meals', since as well as containing high levels of salt they are also likely to include other foods that are not healthy for diabetics.
The best way to keep track of your salt intake is to cook food from scratch yourself. You can use certain recipes that are specially adapted for diabetics and will include lower levels of salt, making them a generally healthier option. This may seem like a daunting task but you should know that salt does not need to be cut out completely, and is in fact an important part of our diet. Specially adapted diabetic recipes will take a lot of the worry out of cooking by working out salt levels for you. As a general rule, a teaspoon of salt is the recommended daily intake level.
A few tips you can remember when cooking is that there are certain foods that are naturally more salty than others, for example canned tuna, soy sauce and so on. Many of these you could cut from your diet completely and find special diabetic recipes that do not use such salty ingredients.
At first, cooking specially adapted low salt recipes may affect the flavour of your meals, yet in time you will become used to the lack of salt on your food. In the end it is definitely a worthwhile endeavour to cut salt from your meals, and it is not as hard as you may think when you find adapted diabetic recipes.
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