High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis - these are only a handful of the health conditions that senior adults are at a heightened risk for that are exacerbated by an unhealthy amount of sodium in the diet.
Sodium has a rightful place in a healthy diet, keeping nerves and muscles functioning properly. However, fewer than 2% of adults over the age of 51 eat a healthy amount of sodium, averaging 3,100 mg of sodium per day instead of the recommended 1,500 mg.
When it comes to boosting senior wellness, one of the most empowering steps you can take is to reduce the amount of sodium you eat daily.
Benefits of a Low-Sodium Diet
Restricting sodium is associated with lower blood pressure, a decreased risk of developing cancer, and healthier heart function. Eliminating sodium-packed foods from your diet will also help you cut out highly processed foods, fast food, and frozen meals that are linked to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Tips for Eating a Low-Sodium Diet
Below are our top tips for adhering to a low-sodium diet without feeling as if you’re cutting something out of your life.
Eat Whole Food
Eating whole, natural foods is important to ensure you’re getting the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs to thrive. These foods are also lower in sodium because they aren’t processed. Enjoy a zesty salad with fresh or frozen dark green vegetables and order your dressing on the side. Get your protein from fish, eggs, or chicken flavored with exciting combinations of spices such as oregano, rosemary, or parsley.
There is often more sodium in your favorite cooking sauce or lunch meat than you realize. Start paying more attention to the ingredients and sodium levels of the foods you eat on a regular basis and start slowly replacing some of your kitchen staples with lower sodium options over time. If you are eating out at a restaurant, request additional nutrition information before placing your order.
Cook at Home
The best way to take control over the amount of sodium you eat in a day is to prepare your own meals at home. This gives you the most control over the ingredients used in every meal and allows you the creative freedom to try new, low-sodium recipes.
If you or an aging loved one needs extra assistance in the kitchen, safely preparing meals, or finding healthy food alternatives to maintain a low-sodium diet, our HomeSpark professional caregivers are here to help. We offer meal preparation and companionship services to adults wishing to age comfortably within their own homes. Contact our team today to learn more about our senior wellness services.