If your parent’s doctor has recommended a low sodium diet, you will want to work with your parent in reducing the sodium in her diet. Sodium doesn’t overwhelmingly come from the saltshaker on the table, it actually creeps into a person’s diet more sneakily by the premade foods that are purchased and consumed.

Learning which foods to avoid when your parent goes to the grocery store, either alone or with her home care provider, will be a great first step in reducing her overall sodium intake.

  • Canned green beans may not taste salty, but canned vegetables can have a lot of sodium in the product. If your parent likes to stick with canned vegetables and other canned goods (like soups and pasta), lead her toward the low- or no-sodium products. Many brands have low sodium versions. Of course, if your parent is comfortable with it, buying fresh is always the best solution. To make preparation of fresh vegetables a little easier, have her home care professional prep the fresh vegetables right after purchase so your parent can simply grab them and add them to her meal.
  • If your parent likes frozen prepared meals, checking those sodium levels will be paramount as they may contain a lot of sodium. The goal recommended by many doctors is to keep any packaged meals at less than 600 milligrams per meal to help your parent stay on track with keeping her intake of sodium lower. If she makes a packaged meal one of her meals of the day, she should pair it with no sodium foods like a fresh salad or fruit.
  • Other areas that sneak sodium into your parent’s diet are frozen and cured meats. When possible, your parent should by fresh meats, fish, and poultry. If purchasing meat from the butcher, your parent can ask about any salt that may have been used in preparation and ask specifically for low sodium items. Cured, salted, and smoked meats should be avoided except for an occasional treat.
  • Any item that is prepared ahead of time may contain a lot of sodium. Have your parent learn to check labels so she can choose products with the least amount of sodium. Pasta sauces, soups, and gravies often come with lower sodium versions, or your parent may find that one brand contains a lot less sodium than another. When possible, avoid purchasing seasoning packets like powdered soups, taco seasoning, or chili mix. They are packed with salt to increase the flavoring. This could be a good time to find a recipe to make her own if these are products your parent likes to use a lot in her food preparation.

Finally, check those condiments when shopping for your parent’s pantry. One tablespoon of soy sauce has almost 1000 milligrams of sodium! Again, many condiments have lower salt options so your parent may not have to do completely without her favorite, she’ll just need to adjust which one she purchases and uses in her cooking.

Coming home with a cartful of low-sodium items will be a great start to helping your parent reduce the sodium in her diet.

If you are considering home care services in Pineville, NC for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. Call today: (704) 246-5806.