Tasty and satisfying meals are not difficult to create within the confines of a strict, low sodium diet. Here are some suggestions:
All foods must be prepared from scratch using whole, unprocessed foods. Very few mixes, canned goods or frozen dinners are low in sodium.
Preparing large quantities of soup, stew, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc., and putting containers with meal-sized portions in the freezer makes meal preparation much easier.
The addition of herbs and spices can make a major difference in how much the salt is missed. Using plenty of onions and garlic can also do much to add flavor.
Read labels and note the sodium content of everything you buy. Almost every processed food is high in sodium. Even frozen vegetables have considerable salt added.
Be very cautious when dining out. Choose only restaurants where items can be prepared individually and without salt. Avoid all buffets and fast food eateries.
A reduced sodium diet is usually somewhat unpalatable at the onset, especially if it’s below 2 of grams sodium and the individual is used to the high amount of salt most Americans consume. However, over the course of a few months to a year, tastes can change, and most persons become accustomed and satisfied with a different way of cooking and eating.
Reduced-sodium cottage cheese or nonfat Greek yogurt with fresh or canned fruit.
Hard-boiled egg with a handful of baby carrots.
An apple with a small handful of almonds.
An unsalted rice cake or slice of toasted Ezekiel bread with 1 tbsp freshly ground, salt-free peanut butter and 1 tsp honey or half of a sliced banana.
One slice of toasted low sodium Ezekiel or other reduced sodium bread with 1 oz Sargento Baby Swiss sliced cheese.
A piece of fruit with half of a Sargento reduced sodium string cheese stick
Unsweetened applesauce drizzled with non-fat evaporated milk or fat-free cream
Banana Boat: Slice a banana lengthwise, but not through bottom skin. Open it up on a plate. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tbsp chopped pecans. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, until chocolate is melted and banana is softened. Remove from oven and top with a little non-fat whipped cream.
Sesame-Fruit Toasty: Spread a thin layer of sesame seed butter (tahini) on toast. Top with chunky, natural applesauce or mashed bananas.
Creamy Veggie Sandwich: Spread non-fat cream cheese on low sodium, wholegrain bread. Add vegetables such as sliced cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, leaf lettuce, tomato slices, sweet onion and bell pepper slices. Top with second slice spread with spicy brown mustard.
Super Salad: Top a garden salad with sliced hardboiled egg. Cut up a ripe avocado and put it in a bowl. Pour over the juice of 1 lemon or lime plus 1 tsp olive oil. Stir well and use some to dress the salad.
Black Beans and Rice: Place cooked brown rice in a bowl with unsalted, cooked black beans and small pieces of leftover chicken on top. Spoon some avocado with lemon or lime juice over all.
Dip vegetable sticks and low sodium crackers in hummus (chickpea spread). Choose a brand that has no more than 130 mg sodium per serving.
Mexican Rice Bowl: Place cooked rice in a bowl with unsalted, cooked pinto beans on top. Top with chopped green onions a little low sodium cheese. Warm in microwave until cheese is melted and serve with fresh salsa.
Sardine Supreme: Place some pasta, boiled without salt, in a bowl. Top with fresh or canned diced tomatoes without salt, thinly sliced green onions and half a can of Reese water-packed sardines. Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp Sargento Reduced Sodium Shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese over top. Warm in microwave until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.