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May 26, 2007 07:09 AM

Low sodium diet- used to it?

So, I am eating low sodium/salt for the last week- blood pressure issues, and it bites a great deal. I'm told you get "used to it" and you don't miss the salt after a while. Those with experience in this arena- how long is "a while"?

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  1. You definitely get used to it. We loaded up on salt as kids until my mother suffered a stroke. After that it was low sodium for all. Can't remeber how long it took, but once you got used to low salt, you end up not liking (overly) salted foods and end up saying things like, "There's enough salt in this dish to stagger a mule!".

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Take heart, Spencer. I decided to follow my wife on low salt. In my case it was, what... about a week or two? Like Sam, I just can't take much salt anymore. You're probably already rediscovering the tastes of foods as well, no?

      1. re: DockPotato

        Yes, after, what- 5 days I am already noticing a slight difference in my taste buds regarding salt. Also a slight decrease in my blood pressure, which is why I am doing this- tired of the side effects of BP meds. Not to mentaion the other bad effects of over doing salt. Iwas really bad- eating more salt than any3 people I know combined. I wasn't aware of how holistically unhealthy my intake was until some recent study on the subject.

      2. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Well, that's good to hear Sam. I hope someone can chime in and tell me how long I can expect the process to take.
        I did find a decent substitute in Tony Chachere's no salt blend.

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          If you can't eat salt, your best friend is lemon juice. Try it on any vegetable and any meat or fish.

        2. It probably varies from person to person, but I'd say allow a couple of weeks. It's worth it, I think -- you do end up feeling healthier, and when you get a big load of salt you can feel how not-good-for-you it is.

          I can report similar results to the previous posters: I find that I "forget" to add salt to most things I make, and like the results just fine. I don't even like salted PEANUT BUTTER anymore!

          1. We eat fairly low sodium but not no sodium. We like a product called Salt Sense which has had the sodium reduced by 33%. I also like some of the Mrs. Dash products which are salt free for seasoning. We are pretty sensitive to salty foods any more.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Candy

              Our household is vegetarian and tries to be low-sodium and even went very very low sodium for a bit following the Duke Diet program. My neck and eyes got sore reading all of the labels for sodium content...things marked low-sodium started looking VERY high. The Duke diet center has a retail outlet that will ship a wide variety of very low sodium products.

              It will take a few weeks until your taste buds adjust and things like V-8 and Campbell soups will taste way over salted. Campbell has several new low-sodium products on the market and I am not quite sure what they are using as the salt substitute but it is horrible...sour vinegar taste.

              I read somewhere to only shop on the outside isles of the grocery store avoiding the processed foods down the center isles. I don't use many canned products other than tomato and beans. You can reduce the sodium in canned beans by draining and rinsing prior to using. I have yet to find a good pasta sauce with low sodium.

              It will get better!

              1. re: Windsor

                Oh you need to be making that Marcella recipe which is no more than drained, imported plum tomatoes, unsalted butter and half an onion. More than yummy and so simple.

                1. re: Windsor

                  Windsor: Re "I have yet to find a good pasta sauce with low sodium": Classico has several as low as 230 mg Na per 1/2 cup and Trader Joe has Organic Marinara Sauce with, unbelievably, only 20 that is very tomato-y and good. You can fortify either of them with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, ground sirloin, extra garlic, etc..

              2. If you avoid processed and junk foods, you don't really have to worry about sodium, unless you eat at restaurants a lot. If you season your food (with kosher or sea salt) as you cook, you'll find yourself adding lots less salt to your food. The absolute worst foods are canned soups and frozen meals!

                2 Replies
                1. re: pikawicca

                  Thanks for the response. Why "with kosher or sea salt" as opposed to regular table salt?

                  1. re: Spencer

                    The flavor is fuller, you need less salt, the minerals in sea and kosher salt add plus the crystals are bigger and in many cases and have more impact with less salt. In avoiding processed foods you are going to eliminate a lot of unnecessary sugar in your diet too. I am not diabetic and have no problems with it, it is not an issue in my family but if you start reading lables and find out how much sugar is being added to your diet it is more horrifying than the amt. of salt. Eliminate that and your weight is going to come down and HBP is going to become even less of an issue because you are going to be losing weight. The amount of sugar added to even the most innocous prepared foods is amazing. A case in point was I had made carnitas one evening and found that my avocados were no where ripe enough to make guacamole with. Sent DH to the grocery for some of the premade stuff (any port in a storm) OMG the amount of sugar in the guac. had me running out to the closest Mex. restaurant for some take out. It was gaggingly sweet. Hot e-mail note off to the mfg. gained me coupons for more of their other products. No thank you vary much!

                2. You have received great replies.

                  My family has been virtually salt free for almost 60 years. Because my father had astronomically high blood pressure, we had to conform to the diet his doctors prescribed and we did willingly. There are many natural herbs and spices which can be used in cooking - not to mask the lack of salt - but to enhance the flavor of whatever is being prepared. Lately we have been adding a smidge of either sea salt or Kosher salt but we still try to keep sodium intake to a minimum. I think if you don't concentrate on how long it will take you to not notice the salt, and concentrate on the flavor of what you're cooking, you'll soon realize that you really do not need to oversalt your food.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Gio

                    "I think if you don't concentrate on how long it will take you to not notice the salt, and concentrate on the flavor of what you're cooking, you'll soon realize that you really do not need to oversalt your food."
                    Ironically, today was the first day of epiphany for me regarding the flavor of what I was eating, minus salt. Amazing!
                    Thanks for you response.