Stroke hits every 40 seconds in the US, with 800,000 Americans each year suffering a stroke.
Strokes kill more than 125,000 Americans each year and leave many more with paralysis and lives that are changed forever.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a significant contributor to stroke.
Sodium in our diets is a key contributor to hypertension.
Sounds like a good reason to cut our salt habit, doesn’t it? That’s especially true for our senior loved ones – and us if we’re over 50 – if we have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Like many things that are good for us, it’s easier said than done!
We’ve prepared the Family Caregiver Video Tip below to educate you to better help senior loved ones cut salt from their lives.
Salt is Hidden in Many Foods
Limiting sodium in our daily diet to less than 2,300 mg is the target for most of us, but our older loved ones who have been told by their doctor they already have hypertension should be cutting it to 1,500 mg or less each day.
As Kathy explained in the video tip, step one in cutting the salt habit is getting rid of the salt shaker, not just from the dinner table but from the kitchen completely. It may take some time but, maybe with some help from the spice rack, it’s just a matter of sticking to it long enough to form the habit.
The other steps take a little more effort. Here are a few of them.
- Check food labels for the listed sodium content, focusing on those that contain less than 5% of our daily sodium intake; shoot for no more than 700 to 800 mg per meal.
- Use fresh or frozen vegetables without sauce rather than the canned or processed versions, which have salt added unless specifically labeled no salt added.
- Limit consumption of foods that are salted and cured, such as hot dogs, bacon, ham and luncheon meats.
- Avoid foods that are sold in brine (which is a fancy name for salt water), such as pickles and sauerkraut.
- Check out some new flavors and seasonings in the spice aisle of the grocery store to enhance foods without adding salt (check labels to ensure you’re not getting something with salt added, though).
Another tip from Kathy…check out our recent post on the DASH diet. No, that’s not just another fancy diet, but stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Sounds right on target, doesn’t it.
By taking steps to help our senior loved ones avoid hypertension and fight off stroke, we can help make their lives better!