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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw the doctor yesterday. He said that I could avoid taking blood pressure medication if i would go on a low salt diet. I never before realized how difficult it is to avoid sodium. Restaurants are out, processed food, bread, soup. Even my home made muffins depends on baking powder.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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By low salt do you mean 1500mg per day, or the actual recommended for most people 2400mg?

1500mg/day will lower BP more than 2400mg/day, but our doctor (and the literature) say there is little evidence that 1500 provides better outcomes in terms of morbidity or mortality from BP related diseases. BP yes (a bit), things BP is supposed to cause not so much.

And cooking and living on 1500 sucks. It can be done if you are careful and creative, but 2400 is a lot easier and tastier. 2400, btw, is a teaspoon a day of table salt. For most Americans, 2400 will lower their salt intake by around 1000mg/day or even more, which generally will lower BP a good amount.

Yes, salt is in just about everything. The more processed the more salt. For reference, we have a few frozen lean cuisine's in the house for quick food (the black boxes are best) and for a bit under 300 calories you end up with 500-600mg of sodium. That's the problem with processed food, the salt hits the daily amount way faster than the calories. On 2400, one of these boxes can work out, but on 1500, you burn almost 1/2 a day of salt for not much food.

Also keep in mind that if you sweat a lot (exercise) you might get yourself in trouble on 1500. So be aware of the symptoms of that.

As for baking powder (and soda which is even higher in sodium)... be aware yes. There is low salt baking powder, but even the full stuff is not going to be that bad once you divide by 12 for a batch of muffins. So long as you keep track of EVERYTHING going in them, and adjust your added salt accordingly. But it will be a lot easier to eat 2 muffins on the 2400/day, believe me.

Bread from the store has a ton of salt in two slices, but most recipes for home can have the salt cut by ~50% and still taste acceptable. This is generally true, once your palate has adjusted to less salt for most recipes; cut what is called for by 50% without a problem. Cutting more can be a problem for taste, depending on what it is. But you can either try cutting down regular recipes, or check out some low sodium recipes online.

You might also want to get a BP monitor, they don't cost much. There is a chance you have doctor induced high BP (not uncommon), so getting measure at home and throughout the day might not be a bad idea. It won't hurt, and you might find that your average BP is not as high as you thought. But in any case, you can track things over time, and see if the low salt diet is working. Getting positive feedback before the next doctor visit will help you make the adjustments you are making. Read and follow the instructions, home units are generally not as accurate if you don't place your arm just as instructed. Especially the wrist ones.

Good luck with the changes.
 

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Restaurants are out, processed food, bread, soup.
Yup, if you want to reduce salt, don't eat out and don't eat stuff from can's or packages. It always baffles me at the amounts of salt they put in canned and frozen foods. They're already preserved, they don't need a pound of salt.

I've never been a fan of salt. Rarely ever use it at the table or while cooking. So my palate is pretty adjusted to lower amounts.
Consider using other seasonings. Hot sauce, chili peppers, cayenne, etc. Also Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends, Spices and Herbs - Salt Free, Sodium Free
If you really need table salt, consider
MORTON® LITE SALT™ MIXTURE - Morton Salt
MORTON® SALT SUBSTITUTE - Morton Salt
 

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tlg;4991136 So my palate is pretty adjusted to lower amounts. [/QUOTE said:
I rarely add salt to any foods. a little sea salt on a fried egg in the morning is about the extent of its use in my kitchen.

once you wean yourself off the stuff, your taste buds seem to re-calibrate and you don't miss it.
 

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When I went on a very low sodium diet to deal with Meniere's Disease, I found this book to be a great resouce. I still use the meatball recipe. Also Paul Prudhomme's Magic Salt Free Seasoning is pretty darn good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all for your kind and informative posts.
I am 69 years old. I was never good at facing issues. More than 30 years ago I was told to manage my pressure. I just ignored it. A friend of mine said, that if I die tomorrow, nobody could say that I died a young man. It is too late for that. I have a nervous disposition, so who knows what the reading would be if I was calm.

I am trying to find salt free bread. I was a Trader Joe's today. They no longer sell it. I would guess that there is no demand for it. It really does not taste too good.
I am looking into alternatives to baking powder. The one I found is expensive, and I do not know how good it works.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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I am trying to find salt free bread.
To give to your enemies?

According to the internet...

Pepperidge Farm Stone Ground 100% Whole Wheat Bread has 130 mg per 2 slices, which is about the lowest "normal" bread I am aware of.

Food For Life Baking Company has very low/no sodium bread, available at Whole Foods. Safeway has Mrs. Wright's low sodium bread (5mg a slice). You can order larger quantities of other breads, if you have freezer space to keep them, as from here: Alpine Valley Bread | Organic Very Low Sodium That has 20mg per slice, and so might not taste totally flat.
 

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Get a digital jewelry scale and use it instead of volume measurements. You should see a wholesale reduction in the amount of salt you add.
 

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Food For Life Baking Company has very low/no sodium bread...
I buy their gluten-free breads which are very low-sodium. the rice-almond flavor is 15 mg/slice, pecan-raisin is 20.

I actually like the taste of the gf stuff...ymmv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am not really addicted to salt. It is that I enjoy taking walks and eating out. I love sweet and sour chicken or pork. I can live without it though.
I have a pressure cooker. I make a good deal of beans and brown rice. I read that rice has arsenic in it. I guess you just cannot win.
The doctor told me to eat food rich in potassium and magnesium. I love plantains so that is not a problem.
That was my first visit with the doctor. He told me that he always tries to bring down blood pressure with diet before prescribing medication.
 

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Boobies!
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I am not really addicted to salt. It is that I enjoy taking walks and eating out. I love sweet and sour chicken or pork. I can live without it though.
I have a pressure cooker. I make a good deal of beans and brown rice. I read that rice has arsenic in it. I guess you just cannot win.
The doctor told me to eat food rich in potassium and magnesium. I love plantains so that is not a problem.
That was my first visit with the doctor. He told me that he always tries to bring down blood pressure with diet before prescribing medication.
Lots of great advice already--and I agree with using other things to draw out flavors. I've been making carrot-ginger soup a lot this winter, and I use very little salt--lots of ginger and lemon juice.

As for beans and rice, the canned beans (Ducal) have a lot of salt (one of the few really salty things that we eat)--but when I used to make my own, I would use cumin, lime, oregano and some salt, and I liked them better.

The arsenic in rice thing is a problem--Consumer Reports have some suggestions:
Which Rice Has the Least Arsenic? - Consumer Reports
Normal consumption though--1-2 times a week you should be fine. Try quinoa in dishes that you might otherwise use rice in.

We eat 'comida typica' at least once a week--organic basmati brown rice (Costco), refried beans, corn tortillas and platanos maduros (usually frozen Goya--these have high levels of potassium).

QQQ knows a ton more about this stuff than I do--but my simple-minded approach is moderation in all things. Eat your one nice dinner out (but try for entrees that will not be oversalted--grilled fish or chicken?), try to limit your salt intake, ride your bike or walk more, eat more vegetables etc.
 

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n00bsauce
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All I know is beer doesn't have any salt.
 
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