Heart Health and Salt Restrictions

Bertrand Bolek, MN, Nurse Practitioner - Adult, talks about why and how heart patients can restrict their salt intake.

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Bertrand Bolek, MN, Nurse Practitioner - Adult, talks about why and how heart patients can restrict their salt intake.
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Featuring Bertrand Bolek, MN, Nurse Practitioner - – Adult

Duration: 2 minutes, 1 second

When we talk about a salt and sodium restriction, these two words mean the same thing. The important point is that it’s important to limit how much salt you take in each day. Because too much salt causes fluid to build up in your body, and this can be built up in your legs or in your belly or in your lungs, making it more difficult for you to breathe. To help keep track of your water weight, it is important to weigh yourself every morning before you’ve eaten, and after you’ve emptied your bladder is best.

Most of the salt we consume is found in processed foods and fast foods. Additional sources of salt is it’s added at the table, using a salt shaker, or added to meals in normal everyday cooking. One teaspoon of salt contains over 2,300 milligrams of salt. Some important ways to limit how much salt you consume is to avoid processed foods. Read labels and choose foods that are lower in salt. It is recommended that each meal contains less than 680 milligrams of salt per serving.

Some other good ways to decrease how much salt you take in each day is to use salt substitutes. Some good options are Mrs. Dash, some seasonings including like dry herbs and spices, garlic or dry mustard. When planning your meals, it’s a good idea to look at the salt content on the nutrition label. For example, a whole wheat breakfast cereal can have as little as 5 milligrams of salt, whereas a raisin bran cereal can have over 300 milligrams of salt.

A similar example is with American cheese, which can have over 300 milligrams of salt, whereas a Swiss cheese alternative can have as little as 70 milligrams of salt. Something you may not be aware of is how much salt is in ketchup. Four tablespoons of ketchup has 620 milligrams of salt. That’s almost as much salt as is in the burger itself.

Some important things you can do to get salt out of your diet is to avoid processed foods and take the salt shaker off of your dinner table. If you have any additional questions about salt restrictions, and in making the right lifestyle changes to decrease the salt in your diet, please talk to your healthcare team provider.

Presenter: Bertrand Bolek, Nurse, Newmarket, ON

Local Practitioners: Nurse

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.