Have you ever rolled out of bed and suddenly noticed you’ve taken in more water than the Titanic? That would be the joy of the bloat, or when you’re retaining water like a sponge. One of the leading causes of bloating? Too much sodium in your diet. And you would not be alone – apparently the average American eats five or more teaspoons of salt each day. That’s 20 times as much salt as your body needs.
Sodium is necessary to be healthy. It is what keeps fluid balanced in our bodies and muscles working properly. But too much salt in your diet stresses your kidneys and causes high blood pressure. This increases the likelihood of stroke, as well as kidney and heart disease. Luckily, there are lots of delectable low sodium options out there for our palates. Check out our 20 favorite low sodium foods for your dinner table.
Thirsty? Milk (1) contains 7 mg per serving. That zero percent of your daily allowance. So feel free to drink up the low-fat white stuff!
Apples (2) are also low in sodium, just be sure to keep them raw and unpeeled for maximum fiber content. In fact, all fresh fruits and vegetables are low in sodium. Pick cherries (3) that are also high in potassium. The same goes for cranberries (4), raspberries (5), prunes (6) and strawberries (7).
Low sodium doesn’t mean low protein. Chickpeas (8) are a great source of low sodium goodness, and they also contain cholesterol-lowering fiber. Unprocessed meats are low in sodium. Consider an organic chicken breast (9) for dinner. Or think about a fillet of sustainably caught wild salmon (10) that has been rinsed and not preserved in salt.
Are you nutty for nuts? Nuts are naturally low in sodium (if they are unsalted). They are also high in monosaturated fat, “which actually decreases the level of bad LDL cholesterol and helps maintain the desirable levels of good HDL cholesterol.” So feel free to reach for those almonds (11), cashews (12), or peanuts (13).
Whole wheat (14) is low in sodium. (Just be careful not to pick up salted processed treats!) This includes bran cereals (15) as well.
Fresh vegetables are also great. Be sure to stock up on broccoli (16), green peppers (17), and sweet potatoes (18). And check out this recipe for sweet potatoes and roasted bananas to get your taste buds twirling.
You’ve been so good on your low sodium diet! Time to reward yourself – with peaches! (19) Check out this low-sodium recipe for a peach crumble. And to really treat yourself, reach for some unsweetened cocoa (20) in this recipe for warm chocolate soufflé. Staying healthy has never tasted so great.