Disease Management

Shake the Salt Habit

Your doctor will probably recommend that you eat a low-salt (low sodium) diet to keep your heart failure under control. Eating salt makes the body retain water. This makes the fluid buildup in heart failure worse. With extra fluid making extra weight, the heart has to work even harder to pump blood.

Salt ShakerSodium is not just in table salt. It appears in our diets in many forms. Most of us get more sodium than we need. Many Americans take in nearly 6000 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day. That’s about three teaspoons of salt- 2 ½ times the maximum amount (2400 mg) that the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends for people with healthy hearts. For people with heart failure, the AHA recommends about one teaspoon of salt. Depending on your health, your doctor may want you to cut back even more.

Here are some easy tips for cutting the sodium from you diet:

  • Throw out the salt shaker
  • Use pepper and salt-free spice blends (watch out for packaged spice blends, which may have salt or MSG (monosodium glutamate, another source of sodium)
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Read food labels
  • Keep track of your sodium

The above information was obtained from the following Web sites, please visit them for additional information: