Blitzing the Pantry for a Healthier 2011
I have not been a person to "add" salt to my daily diet as long as I can remember. There's a little voice in my head that has always lectured: "They say it isn't healthy..."
Last year my mother had a heart attack, and came home from the hospital with a new sodium-restricted diet.
The first thing I did was go through her pantry, and I invite you to do the same for a Heart-Healthy 2011.
Here's the rules for what the American Heart Association recommends: "...no more than 3 grams (3,000 mgs)" for normal diet and if you have health issues, your doctor may prescribe "a diet that has a ceiling of 2,000 to 2400 (2.0 - 2.4 grams)"
So let's start reading labels:
Campbell's Cream of Chicken/OR Mushroom Soup 870 mg in 1/2 cup
Hunt's Four Cheese Pasta Sauce 580 mg in 1/2 cup
Kraft FREE Thousand Island Dressing 260 in 2 Tablespoons
Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water 310 mg in 2 ounces
Generic Baked Beans 620 mg in 1/2 cup
I think you can get the general idea here. And then, remember that most people's idea of a serving is often double what the product may list as serving size! If you eat a whole can of tomato soup with your sandwich at lunch...well, you can see the healthy salt limit can quickly be reached.
Then, add a little table salt, or salt while cooking...
This isn't a post designed to have you changing all of your eating habits at once, as many products have natural sodium and cooking with herbs takes practice and patience.
Your best practice would be to talk with your doctor and review your own health challenges. However, all of us, RIGHT NOW, TODAY, can do a little pantry checking, and aim for healthier-low salt and no-salt choices for 2011.
Healthier living can be implemented in small steps, one little change at a time.
You and your families are worth it.