Low-Sodium Meal Ideas

French fries in a white bowl on table
Skip the salt shaker to cut extra sodium from your diet. (Image: Cleardesign1/iStock/Getty Images)

Eating foods with too much sodium -- salt -- can lead to high blood pressure, a condition that increases your risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney problems, reports the American Heart Association. To reduce salt intake, avoid eating large amounts of processed foods, condiments, cold cuts, cured meats, cheese and restaurant food. Cooking your meals at home allows you to control how much sodium goes into them. The American Heart Association recommends leaving the salt shaker off the table to prevent yourself from being tempted to sprinkle it on your food.

Salad

Making a salad heavy on vegetables with some lean protein added creates a healthy meal that is low in sodium, but filling at the same time. Leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, bell peppers and mushrooms are all healthy salad ingredients. Adding some lean grilled meat, like chicken or beef, on top provides a low-sodium protein source. Using herbs and spices to flavor the meat instead of salt. Make your own salad dressings at home, without salt, or look for a low-sodium salad dressing at the supermarket.

Fish with Whole Grains

Fish is a heart-healthy food and can be prepared without added salt by experimenting with various herbs and spices. Grilled or roasted fish pairs well with whole grains like quinoa and brown rice. These foods are low in sodium and pack a good dose of fiber to keep you feeling full. Thyme, rosemary, garlic and lemon pepper go well with fish and don't contribute to salt intake. A serving of steamed fresh vegetables rounds out the meal and makes it a low-sodium alternative to fried fish and french fries.

Bean Burritos

Beans are a healthy source of fiber, and if you buy the canned variety without added salt, they can be used to make a low-sodium meal. Pour the beans in a colander and rinse them to cut the sodium used to process them, advises the American Heart Association, or cook whole beans yourself to cut sodium intake. Wrap whole beans in a whole-grain tortilla and top with fresh vegetables like leafy green lettuce, tomatoes, onions and avocados. Avoid olives; they are very salty, and don't belong in a low sodium diet. Top your burrito with salsa; find a low-sodium some store-bought variety, or make your own by chopping fresh tomatoes, onions and jalapenos.

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