With the holidays just around the corner, most of us are preparing to spend time with those we are closest to, which normally translates into one thing- lots of holiday food! We bond over warm meals and embrace the joy and nostalgia that comes with many of our favorite dishes. While this is a time we all should embrace and enjoy, for some of us, it can also mean getting off track with our dietary needs. If you are looking to maintain a low sodium diet to promote kidney health or control your blood pressure, holiday food may be a source of concern for you. Many of our favorite traditional holiday meals come in at the top of the charts for sodium. If you are worried about navigating this holiday season without overdoing your sodium take, we can help!
Most of us have a basic understanding of sodium, it is essentially just the measure of salt. Whenever someone consumes too much sodium, or has a sensitivity to sodium, they may experience issues such as fluid retention, higher blood pressure, kidney issues, and more. Sodium is one of the main preservatives found in processed foods and ingredients. Many traditional meals we see on family tables during this time of the year are heavy in processed ingredients, causing alarm. From frozen turkeys and ham to broth for your gravy, and even dinner rolls, you will see more sodium than normal for holiday feasts.
The best way to reduce sodium this year is by using fresher ingredients and looking up low sodium alternatives for your favorite dishes! Additionally, consider implementing some of the following tips this holiday season to keep your holiday meals traditional and low sodium, without taking away from the flavor:
No Salt On The Table: Instead of putting out salt and pepper this season, try using a salt-free seasoning blend. These can be great because they are full of flavor and give your guests the option to season as they wish, without bombarding them with salt.
Save The Cheese For The Macaroni: We are not saying NO CHEESE this holiday season, just use it where it makes the most sense! If you are electing to have a cheesy macaroni on the table this year, keep it to that. Avoid loading down your vegetables with salt sauces and cheese toppings. Instead, work on highlighting the flavors of your vegetables and keeping the seasoning healthy.
Load Up On White Meat: Instead of loading your plate up with ham or dark meats this holiday season, go for white meat. Did you know 2 slices of ham can exceed your daily allowance of sodium? Avoid other processed proteins such as sausages, deli meats, and bacon.
For a more comprehensive understanding of your body’s sodium tolerance, schedule an appointment at Wellspire Medical Group. Our doctors can help you find out how much sodium should be allowed in your diet and ensure your kidneys and blood pressure are healthy. Contact us today to learn more about the doctors we have on staff and how we can help you stay healthy this holiday season.