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Why is a Low Sodium Diet Important?
A low-sodium (salt) diet may help lower blood pressure and prevent build-up of extra water in your body. This diet can help those with high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease, or other conditions in which swelling or fluid retention can occur. Even if you take a pill for blood pressure or a water pill (diuretic) to remove fluid, it is still important to have less salt in your diet. Our recommendation is to limit your daily sodium intake to 1,500mg (ie. 300-400 per meal)
Low Sodium Dieting
The typical American diet is very high in sodium. Even if you do not add salt while cooking or do not use the salt shaker at the table, you are probably eating too much sodium. That is because we eat processed foods, like frozen dinners, fast foods, boxed noodle rice dishes, canned soups, and canned vegetables. Most processed foods are high in sodium so avoid those as much as possible.
It may take some time to adjust to a low sodium-diet, but it is worth the effort. A low-sodium diet can help you feel better and may even keep you out of the hospital. To help you, here are a list of foods and their sodium contents.
Eliminate salty foods from your diet and reduce the amount of salt used in cooking. Sea salt is no better than regular salt. Choose low sodium foods. Many salt-free or reduced salt products are available. When reading food labels, low sodium is defined as 140mg of sodium per serving, 400mg or more is high. Be creative and season your foods with spices, herbs, lemon, garlic, ginger, vinegar and pepper.
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Why a Low Cholesterol Low Fat Diet is Important?
Most Americans with high cholesterol don’t even realize it until its too late. They often feel just fine until the first sign of trouble…a heart attack! That’s why its important avoid foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol. High cholesterol and lipids (fats) are associated with the build up of plaque in the arteries of the body that can reduce blood flow to the heart or head. This may lead to cardiovascular (heart) disease and stroke. By following a diet with less total fat, low saturated fat, and low-cholesterol, you can help control your blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
How To Lower Your Cholesterol
Three major dietary factors that contribute to high levels of serum cholesterol, including LDL cholesterol are: (1) high intake of saturated fat; (2) high intake of dietary cholesterol; and (3) an imbalance between calorie intake and activity level leading to obesity. Individuals with high triglycerides may also need to reduce foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrate, and avoid alcohol. A high serum level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) “good” cholesterol is associated with a decreased risk of heard disease. Here is a chart to help guide your eating habits…
A family history of heart disease, a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol, smoking, lack of exercise and obesity can all contribute to your risk of hardening of the arteries. Take care of yourself. Take care of your heart. …It’s the only one you have…
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Why Is Iron Important?
Iron is a part of the blood-oxygen delivery system, and without proper levels of iron, you may begin to feel the weakening effects of low iron; tired all of the time, pale, listless and irritable.
Each and every cell in your body needs oxygen to produce energy. Not just for exercise, but for everyday life: brushing your teeth energy, walking up the stairs energy, going to work energy, baking cookies energy.
When you have normal iron levels, you have enough energy in every one of your body cells. Without enough iron, your cells produce less energy.
Where can I get Iron?
You get iron from a number of foods. There are 2 types of iron in our diet:
Heme Iron is found in animal products such as red meat, fish, and poultry.
Heme iron is absorbed better than non-heme iron, so it is best to eat non-heme iron with heme iron to increase absorption. If you do not eat animal products, you will need to eat twice as much non-heme iron rich foods. Also including a source of vitamin C with your meals will help absorption (ie. Orange juice, Grapefruit, Potatoes, Broccoli).
*Coffee & Tea decrease iron absorption so drink at least one hour before or after an iron rich meal*
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Potassium is a mineral found naturally in many foods and in your body. Potassium-rich foods will help maintain your blood potassium levels, a factor which controls many body functions. Potassium-rich foods may be needed if you are taking certain medications such as some types of diuretics (water pills), or if you have a medical condition that is causing you to need extra potassium. Taking in more potassium may help lower high blood pressure. The potassium level in your blood should be watched closely by your Doctor. Although fruits and vegetable tend to contain the most potassium, listed below are other examples of foods that contain large amounts of potassium.
Steps You Can Take to Increase Potassium in Your Diet
To increase the potassium in your diet, try to eat at least 2 high and 2 medium potassium fruits along with 1 medium potassium vegetable each day (see attached food lists). Eat whole grain breads more often. Consult your Doctor or Dietitian before using a potassium-containing salt substitute.
Recommended Daily Intake
Men & Women Women (specifically)
1-3yrs 3000mg/d Pregnancy 4700mg/d 4-8yrs 3800mg/d Lactation 5100mg/d 9-13yr 4500mg/d 14-70yr 4700mg/d
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Gout Diet Treatment. What is it?
A low purine diet means eating foods that do not have many purines in them. Purines can be found in some foods and make up 15% of the uric acids found in the body. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines. the body does not use uric acid so it is usually filtered by the kidneys and taken out in the urine. When uric acid builds up in the body, it can cause pain and swelling known as gout. It may also cause kidney stones. You may need to follow this low purine diet if you have these problems.
Gout is often treated with medicines that help the body get rid of extra uric acid. But, eating the right foods can help limit the amount of purines in your body. This will lessen the amount of uric acid in your body.
Eat a diet that has at least 50% of calories as carbohydrates. Do this by eating 6 to 10 servings of bread or starchy foods, and 5 fruits and vegetables each day.
Also eat a low fat diet to limit your fat intake to 30% or less of your total calories. Ask your caregiver for information about following a low fat diet.
Do NOT drink alcohol unless OK’d by your caregiver. Alcohol can cause gout too.
Group I: (Green) Eat or drink the foods listed in Group I (green) as often as you like while following an eating plan to stay at a good body weight.
Group II: (Yellow) Eat only 1 serving per day of these foods when your gout is under control. Avoid them when your gout is flaring up. A serving of meat, fish, or poultry is 2 to 3 ounces cooked. A serving of vegetables is ½ cup. A serving of liquids is 1 cup
Group III: (Pink) Avoid these foods at all times.
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For a lifetime of Strong, Healthy Bones
Bones perform a variety of functions in the body. Bones provide structure, protect vital organs and store calcium. Adequate calcium and vitamin D are essential to optimize bone health. Calcium plays an important role in maintaining bone, while vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium. It is important to include both in your diet an dthe amount you need varies by age.
Age Calcium (mg) Vit. D (IU) 1-50 1,000 mg 400 IU 51+ 1,200 mg 400-800 IU
Where to get it?
Calcium is found in a variety of foods, including dairy products, vegetables, and beans. Many foods like cereals, juices and breads have calcium added to them. When eating packaged food, read the nutrition label to determine how much calcium the food contains.
Vitamin D is found in some types of fish and is also added to foods such as milk, cereal and some juices. But, a well-balanced diet alone may not provide with the calcium or Vitamin D you need. Dietary sources of vitamin D are limited, so supplements like multivitamins, or calcium tablets with vitamin D can make the difference.
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