How to Counteract Too Much Sodium in a Diet

Toast with peanut butter and banana
Sliced bananas on toast with honey and peanut butter. (Image: olvas/iStock/Getty Images)

Diets high in sodium put you at risk for serious side effects such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. According to the McKinley Health Center, adults should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Follow a low-sodium diet and eat potassium-containing foods to counteract the effects of eating a diet high in salt for a prolonged period of time. Consult your doctor before making any dietary changes to manage your sodium levels.

Step 1

Follow a low-sodium diet. Foods to avoid include table salt, processed meals, lunch meat, chips, fast food, soy sauce, salad dressings, pickled foods, canned soups and vegetables. Check food labels to find products with “no salt added” or “reduced sodium.” Season your food with fresh herbs and spices instead of salt.

Step 2

Increase the amount of potassium in your diet. According to Iowa State University, potassium counteracts the effect of sodium on blood pressure and adult intake should be approximately 4,700 mg daily. Foods high in potassium include spinach, kale, broccoli, fresh fish, tomatoes, bananas, raisins, prunes, melon, carrots, potatoes, squash and shellfish.

Step 3

Receive medications for the treatment of hypernatremia. When sodium levels get too high in the body, medical intervention is required and you may require hospitalization. IV fluids are administered to reduce sodium levels. Take diuretics, as directed, which reduce the amount of sodium by producing urination to get rid of excess fluids.

Step 4

Drink two to three quarts of fluid every day. According to the Chemocare website, high sodium blood levels can be counteracted by drinking two to three quarts of water every 24 hours.

Step 5

Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages and alcohol. These substances may produce electrolyte imbalances.

Warning

Do not increase potassium intake without speaking to your doctor first. Kidney disease patients may need to keep potassium intake low to avoid complications.

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