Low Sodium Diets

Dear Sir/Madam,
The information you have supplied in response to the Netogreen questionnaire indicates that some changes should be made in your diet. In order to improve your health and quality of life a low sodium diet is recommended.
All dietary changes involve learning, experimenting, and figuring out what is right for you. This is the most difficult part of incorporating changes into your daily life. However, you have a lot to gain. Taking steps to change your diet will help put you in control of your health, give you the ability to take care of your nutritional needs and successfully end behaviors that may be harmful to your health.
Remember, when making changes in your diet, there will be setbacks. What is most important is that you know the correct path and return to it when you stray. Slowly you will adapt to your new diet.
We wish you success in achieving your goal and are available at any time to answer your questions.
The Netogreen Staff
Why do you need a low sodium diet?
High sodium diets can endanger your health. Numerous studies have shown that diets rich in sodium (salt), in individuals in situations similar to yours, increase the risk for hypertension. High sodium intake contributes to increases in blood pressure at all ages, and in individuals with both normal and elevated blood pressure. Decreasing sodium intake will not only impact your blood pressure, it will lower the risk for complications associated with high blood pressure. These include damage to blood vessels, rapid arteriosclerosis, heart disease and kidney failure.
Adapting a diet that is low in sodium will help you:
  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Aid in preventing and lowering your risk of developing arteriosclerosis and damage to your blood vessels. 
  • Improve your kidney function and reduce water retention. 
  • Reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, thrombosis and internal bleeding. 
  • Reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improve your overall health, sense of well-being and quality of life.
How do you begin your low sodium diet?
The Netogreen program will provide you with all the information you need to make changes in
your diet, but it is your responsibility to carry out these changes.
In order to help you in correctly planning simple menus, Netogreen provides easy-to-follow information, choices and plans.
We are always happy to answer all your questions.
Good luck on your undertaking!
What do you need to know to be successful?
Starting a low sodium diet means that you must cut back on the amount of sodium /salt and limit yourself to one teaspoon of salt a day (approximately 2400 mg sodium from both foods and drinks) in your diet. You must make wise choices when buying prepared and processed foods and cook foods at home according to your needs.
We recommend that you learn and think about the principles of your new diet and choose from the recommended list of foods. The list has been prepared for you by the Netogreen experts and your job is to pick out the foods you like most.
A.     Principles of a low sodium diet: 
  1. Decrease intake of foods that taste salty or contain large amounts of sodium for example: soup mixes, smoked meats, salty cheese, salty snacks and more.
  2. Reduce the use of table salt during cooking and when eating. Limit your intake to up to one teaspoon a day.
  3. Try to prepare most of your foods at home and avoid store bought foods and processed foods.
  4. Prefer fresh and frozen meats over canned or smoked products.
  5. Avoid the use of spices and flavorings that contain salt and replace them with fresh and dried herbs, lemon juice and vinegar.
  6. Avoid eating foods that are made with salt water such as pickles and olives.
  7. Choose salt substitutes such as low sodium salt.
  8. Most important:Read food labels for all products you buy and compare sodium content (mg) among products. Many products are available in low-sodium versions. 
B.     Choosing low sodium foods:
In general, it is advised to cook at home as much as possible and avoid processed and prepared foods. When you prepare foods yourself, it is much easier to control the amount of sodium put in your food.
  1. Meats: Choose fresh and frozen poultry and beef that has no added spices or flavoring. Pre-salted meats should be soaking prior to cooking or boiled for 10 minutes, drained, washed again and then cooked. Sandwich meats and hot dogs should be avoided as they contain high amounts of sodium. If you are dining out, specify that you want your meat prepared without salt.
  2. Fish: Choose fresh or frozen fish that have not been flavored or spiced. Avoid herring and pickled, canned or smoked fish.
  3. Legumes: It is recommended that you buy dry uncooked legumes (peas, beans, chickpeas, faba beans, lentils and soy beans) or canned legumes without added salt. Frozen legumes are usually low-sodium but check the food labels. When cooking legumes at home, do not add salt. Check the sodium content of all frozen soy products including vegetarian hamburgers etc.
  4. Grains and Baked Goods: Cook your rice, pasta, corn and all other grains without added salt. When buying prepared foods such as breads, crackers, packaged cakes and cookies, pizza etc. it is advised to compare sodium content (mg) among products and choose the product that has the lowest amount of sodium per serving
  5. Eggs: Avoid adding salt to cooked eggs.
  6. Milk Products: Choose milk and milk products (cheeses & yogurt) that are low in sodium. Avoid salty cheeses such as feta, blue cheese, Roquefort and parmesan. Most hard yellow cheeses and processed cheeses (American cheese) have a high sodium content. 
  7. Fruits and Vegetables: It is recommended to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. It is best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables without adding sauces or dressings that contain sodium and without adding salt. All fruits and vegetables naturally contain some sodium but the quantities are small and do not exceed the body’s requirements for sodium. Prepared salads (ie coleslaw) and vegetables pickled in brine or vinegar all contain large amounts of sodium.
  8. Oils: Choose natural oils such as olive oil, canola oiland soy oil.
  9. Other Fats: Limit your intake of soft margarines and other spreads as they often contain large amounts of sodium. Choose unsalted nuts and seeds. Peanut butter and other nut spreads like almond butter should be prepared at home in a blender and if store-bought, should have low sodium content.
  10. Salty snacks and candy: Most snacks contain high amounts of sodium. Avoid salted snacks such as potato chips and corn chips and most pre-packaged cookies and cakes. Check the sodium content of these products carefully.
  11. Spices: Avoid spice mixes that have a salt base (garlic salt, onion salt, lemon salt, celery salt) and prepared sauces/dressings (soy sauce, thousand island dressing, barbeque sauce). Monosodium glutamate should also be avoided along with spice mixes, tomato paste, ketchup, baking powder and baking soda. Salt substitutes are available with up to 30% of the sodium replaced with potassium, magnesium, amino acids or iodine. They are commonly sold as herbal salt or as low sodium salt. It is advised to consult with your physician before using these substitutes. Because these substitutes are less salty in flavor, be sure not to increase the quantity you use.
  12. Drinks: There are large differences in sodium content between different varieties of bottled/mineral water. Be sure to compare products and choose a product that has a low sodium content. Energy drinks and sport drinks contain large amounts of sodium. Be sure to read food labels for all bottled drinks and confirm that the sodium content is low. 
C.     The Netogreen list of food choices
The following table can help you make wise food choices and help you pick foods with low sodium and low salt content. It is advised to always read food labels.
Pre-salted meats should be soaked to remove salt. 
Koshered meats, pre-seasoned meats or poultry, hot dogs, salami, smoked meats, canned meats, processed meats, prepared meats. 
Fresh or frozen meat products. Meats that have not been prepared with added salt.
Canned fish, smoked fish, salted or pickled fish.
Fresh and frozen fish that are not processed or prepared with salt.
Prepare legumes at home. Most processed foods have large amounts of added salt.
Canned beans of all varieties that contain salt, prepared and frozen soy products.
Chickpeas, faba beans, all varieties of dried beans, lentils, dried peas: buy dry legumes and prepare at home with no added salt. 
Bread and baked goods often contain large amounts of sodium.
Bread and baked goods with large amounts of sodium, salted pretzels, salted crackers, salty snacks, pizza etc.
Cook grains without added salt, choose low sodium bread and baked goods, unsalted pretzels, low sodium crackers, home baked goods without added salt.
Prepare eggs with no added salt.
Check sodium content in yogurts and other milk products.
Salty cheeses like feta and blue cheese and all hard yellow cheeses.
These milk products usually have lower sodium content: ricotta, mozzarella, yogurt, milk.
Prepared salads often contain large amounts of sodium. It is recommended to prepare foods at home, as much as possible. 
Canned vegetables contain large amounts of sodium, salted or pickled vegetables like olives and pickles.
Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits. Prepare and cook without added salt.
Pure vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil or soy oil.
Use olive oil instead of margarine. Roast nuts at home without salt.
Soft margarine, imitation margarine/butter spreads, olives, salted nuts.
Unsalted nuts (peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts etc)   unsalted sunflower seeds and avocado.
You can lower sodium content in your diet by baking cookies and cakes at home, without adding salt.
All salty snacks, candy and cookies with high sodium content.
Low sodium pretzels, popcorn without salt, candies with low sodium content.
Watch out for salad dressings with high sodium content. Always check sodium content on food labels.
Table salt. Prepared spice mixes, soy sauce, miso, prepared sauces (chilli, barbeque, thousand island soy), instant soups, seasoning powders, ketchup.
Pure spices- ground or whole: pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic, nutmeg, saffron, paprika, hot peppers, low sodium soy sauce, tomato paste without added salt, low sodium salt.
Energy drinks, sports drinks, drinks that contain high sodium content.
Mineral or bottled water with low sodium content, Drinks that are not salty, coffee and tea.
Any Questions?
The Netogreen Staff is happy to serve you at any time