Follow Nutrition Guidelines and Check for Hidden Sodium

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by Denise on April 11, 2011 · 0 comments

in Special Diets

Fresh green beans don’t contain salt. Neither do the frozen bags of green beans we buy at the supermarket. That’s why a lot of single moms are amazed to learn that a single cup of canned green beans can contain up to 700 mg of sodium. That’s quite a bit when you consider nutrition guidelines say that the human body only needs 500 mg a day.

The nutrition guidelines have changed the recommendations for the daily intake of sodium, and have recently reduced it from 2,300 mg to 1,500 mg, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. They also point out that people don’t ingest the majority of sodium from the salt added to the food at the dinner table. It is lurking in processed foods. For instance, a cup of low fat cottage cheese can have 918 mg of sodium.

Where else does sodium hide? Check the processed macaroni and cheese most kids love. It can have up to 1,200 mg of sodium in just 2 cups.

Luckily, there are low sodium and sodium free processed foods on the market. The smart single mom will read the label or nutrition guidelines of the low sodium products as well as those that aren’t marked to make sure the combination of the foods served daily don’t add up to an overabundance of salt in the diet. Don’t forget to factor in the chips and snacks. Pay special attention to the serving size of the food or snack. Many of us are known to eat more than one serving at a time.

Foods that tout that they contain sea salt or kosher salt don’t necessarily contain less sodium than foods that use table salt. Because the grains of salt are larger than regular table salt, you are ingesting a bit less salt when using a teaspoon of sea salt.

You don’t have to serve your family bland and tasteless food by lowering the sodium content of the foods you serve. Herbs and spices can enhance the natural flavors of foods. Experiment with herbal meat rubs and cook vegetables with fresh herbs. But beware of the soy sauce as a salt substitute. A Tablespoon contains 920 mg of sodium. Try flavoring the rice with ginger, instead.

About Denise

As a mom to three girls Denise knows the difficulties of being a single parent. Denise has been working to help single moms across the country since 2007. In her free time Denise enjoys camping, riding four wheelers and just spending time with her family.

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