Your parent’s doctor may have advised them to reduce or limit their sodium consumption. Unfortunately, that might be easier said than done. Many foods contain sodium and the salt on your family table contains 2,300 mg of sodium in just one teaspoon. Why should your parent reduce the amount of sodium they eat and how can family caregivers help them to do that? Read on to find out.
How Too Much Sodium Can Harm Your Parent
Excess sodium in your parent’s diet could make them retain water, making it harder for the circulatory system to do its job. This can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The recommended daily allowance of sodium is no more than 2,300 mg, but 1,500 mgs is ideal. For some people, it may even be necessary to completely eliminate sodium from their diet. Unfortunately, a lot of people eat too much sodium without even knowing. They add salt to their food as they cook and ignore the labels on foods. A food that has 140 mg or less of sodium is considered low sodium food.
Tips to Try
To decrease the amount of sodium in your parent’s diet, try some of these easy tricks:
- Season with Herbs and Spices: Instead of adding salt to food during cooking, caregivers should try adding herbs and spices. Mustard can be an excellent rub for proteins and gives food a salty taste without the salt.
- Use Less Condiments: Some condiments contain a lot of sodium. Look for condiments that are low in salt, like balsamic vinegar, mustard, and horseradish. If your parent insists on using traditional condiments, use less or look for low-sodium versions.
- Switch to Frozen Vegetables: Canned vegetables often have a high salt content because salt is a preservative. Instead of canned vegetables, caregivers can serve frozen vegetables, which are still cost effective and require less preparation than fresh vegetables.
- Look for Low Sodium Versions: Many products are available in low sodium versions. Look for labels that indicate the product has “reduced sodium” or “low sodium.” However, it’s still important to read the nutrition information on the label to ensure the product is truly low in sodium and does not contain other undesirable ingredients.
In addition to choosing low-sodium foods to cook and eat at home, caregivers can also help seniors to make better food choices when they eat out. Many restaurant chains provide nutritional information for their menu items on their websites, so making your food choices before you get to the restaurant could help avoid excess sodium. When eating at sit-down restaurants, you can ask the server to have the food prepared without added salt. Also, ask for sauces and dressings on the side so that your parent can limit the amount they eat.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Cinnaminson, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
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