Worried About High BP? Indulge In These Low-sodium Foods

Oct 25, 2022, 13:37 IST

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Imagine yourself looking forward to digging into your favourite dish, and with great anticipation you proceed to devour the first bite. To your dismay, the dish does not taste as you had remembered. It is low on salt. Salt is the one ingredient that does the job of tying in the flavours together. It is also the most common form source of sodium. Besides salt, additives such as sodium bicarbonate and monosodium glutamate, among others also contain sodium. The body uses sodium to control blood pressure and blood volume. Sodium is also needed to ensure optimal muscle and nerve function.

A word of caution, though, like anything in excess, sodium too is not good. It can elevate blood pressure for some. Excess sodium intake has also been associated with greater risks of other issues such as osteoporosis due to increased urinary calcium losses.


Sodium reduction continues to be an effective and safe strategy to lower blood pressure and thereby reduce the risk of heart disease. One of the ways to reduce total sodium in the diet is to swap high-sodium food items or snacks with healthier safer alternatives. Nutrition and Wellness Consultant Sheela Krishnaswamy lists out three such alternatives.

Apples

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Fruits are naturally low in sodium and are high in potassium. Apple is one of the examples for low sodium food options. Apple is low in fat and also a good source of vitamin C and fibre. Polyphenols found in apples and other fruits contribute to cardiovascular health. Apples are best eaten whole and during season.

Cucumbers

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Cucumber is another healthy snack alternative as it is exceptionally low in calories, sodium and fat. Cucumbers contain about 3 grams of sodium per cup, thereby allowing you to comfortably consume your required or desired quantity. With its high moisture content, cucumber contributes to hydration in the body. Cucumber is a popular salad item and can be used in any form of salad.

Almonds

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Almonds are a safer and tastier alternative for other snack items. There is around 1 milligram of sodium per 100 grammes of almonds. In addition to being satiating, almonds are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. They are a source of 15 nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, zinc etc. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels. They can also reduce hunger and promote weight management.

Lemon Juice & Herbs
Replacing salt with lemon juice or herbs in dishes, replacing high salt dishes with unsalted ones are viable options to reduce sodium. Minimising high salt foods like pickles, papads, salt biscuits, salted butter, cheese, ultra-processed foods, etc can help to reduce total sodium intake and also contribute to better heart health. Along with dietary changes, regular exercise and other lifestyle modifications are necessary to improve high blood pressure. Check with your physician and dietitian to find out what changes are best suited for you.

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