Sodium is in so many things. It is found naturally in many types of meat, fruits, and vegetables. At the same time, you have the table salt that’s added to the meals you eat. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults limit themselves to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams per day. Those with high blood pressure must stay on the low side of that range.
Why Does It Matter?
Why is sodium intake so important? Sodium is a balancing act between blood and water. When there is more sodium in your bloodstream than necessary, more water makes its way into your blood to balance the levels. This excess water increases the volume of blood, which puts extra strain on your blood vessels. It can raise your blood pressure.
The reason this is important is that high blood pressure can be a contributing factor in heart health and stroke risk. If your mom has high blood pressure, she needs to watch her sodium intake. Even if she doesn’t have high blood pressure, she still should get used to watching how much salt she takes in. High blood pressure is more common in senior citizens.
How Do You Cut Salt Intake?
Your mom needs to read labels. Salt is in so many prepared foods. Just a half-cup serving of Newman’s Own marinara sauce has 490 mg of sodium. Tostito’s says a serving of their mild chunky salsa is 2 tablespoons. That serving has 250 mg.
While fresh fruit doesn’t have a lot of sodium, there still is sodium in many vegetables. For example, an apple or pear has 2 mg and an avocado has 10 mg. Vegetables tend to have slightly higher sodium levels. A medium potato has 13 mg, and a serving of broccoli has 49 mg.
To flavor foods, your mom should learn to use fresh herbs and citrus instead. Mrs. Dash is a good alternative if she really likes to sprinkle seasonings on her foods.
What Else Should She Do?
Make sure your mom has her blood pressure checked monthly. She can do it at a pharmacy or purchase a blood pressure machine and do it at home. If she does have high blood pressure, she needs to carefully watch her diet. Caregivers can help seniors who have high blood pressure.
Caregivers can remind your mom to take medications, schedule appointments to see her doctor, and drive her to those appointments. Meal preparation is another important service caregivers offer. Your mom can have someone helping her shop for the right ingredients and make nutritious meals. Call now to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Summit, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.