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Old 11-10-2013, 05:32 PM
533 posts, read 1,092,478 times
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My grandpa has heart disease and has had a couple heart attacks and needs to be on a low salt diet. Lately his doctors have told him that he's retaining too much water and needs to cut out even more salt.

I can't even pretend I know anything about dietetics/nutrition, but the whole family is really good about buying products that are low salt/no salt. However, we could probably do a little more.

I'm just wondering if there are foods out there that are the opposite of salt? If salt is making him retain water, are there foods that cancel out that effect?

And does anyone have any good advice about low/no salt diets?

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Old 11-11-2013, 05:59 AM
Location: In a house
13,250 posts, read 42,203,214 times
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The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association websites have recipes and links to other sites, all of which offer low-sodium options.

You might need to re-train your mind (and your family's mind) regarding the term "Low-Salt" and "No-Salt." Switch it to "No Sodium"/"Low Sodium" instead. Salt, in most peoples' minds, conjures up the image of a salt shaker, but does -not- conjure up the image of foods with naturally high sodium levels.

Learn to prepare and cook meals from scratch, rather than buying foods already prepared. This will give you more control over the types of food you get, and the methods of preparation.

Find out the range of acceptable sodium is appropriate for your grandfather, and read labels on anything that has one. If he needs to stick with 650-1000 mg sodium per day, then knowing the numbers can help you learn better what's healthy and what isn't for him. You can also use calorie-counter websites - such as myfitnesspal - they have food databases that usually include sodium levels for all kinds of foods, including many home-made recipes, plus the size of a portion.

Lastly, have him check in with a licensed nutritionist and/or dietician who specializes in heart illnesses. They can give him some guidelines and suggestions.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:03 AM
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Most prepared commercial foods are salted. On the other hand, most raw foods (or when prepared without salt) are low in sodium, especially fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Fish can be low or high in sodium (check the link below), the same with meats.
Here's a list of more than 3,400 foods arranged from low to high sodium content
Foods containing most and least - Fineli

Foods high in potassium may have a taste like they are salted. When you cook foods in the vapour (placed above the boiling water), they retain most of potassium and when boil them in the water, a lot of potassium leaks out. Cookware for cooking in vapour is available...Examples of high potassium, low sodium foods:
- Potatoes, and especially potatoes with skins
- Many green leafy vegetables (spinach, cabbage, beet greens, Swiss chard, etc)
For other foods check the link.

Substances that oppose the effect of salt are diuretics — they stimulate the excretion of water. Some foods/herbs contain natural diuretics and some of them also stimulate the excretion of sodium and some of them are even available as extracts in the pill form. I will not mention any of these; it is a doctor who can say if they are appropriate for your grandpa, which type and in which amount...

Water retention in a heart patient cannot be always controlled with a low-salt diet. One thing is a limited fluid intake. Another things are prescribed diuretics. Again, it is a doctor who can say how much water, diuretics yes or no, etc. Please do not take any actions on the basis of this post alone.
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