Posts Tagged ‘sodium intake’

What is a sodium-restricted diet for hypertensive patient ?

Many patients with hypertension are sodium sensitive, meaning their blood pressure increases after they consume excessive amounts of sodium and decreases after they reduce their sodium intake.

Such patients may be prescribed a sodium restricted diet, which usually limits sodium consumption to 2 grams a day.

If your patient must comply with such a diet, help him make the change.

Along with his dietitian, provide nutritional counseling soon after his hypertension is diagnosed.

Include the family or caregiver in your teaching, especially if she prepares the patient’s food at home.

Your patient must understand which foods and drugs contain sodium.

Explain that the most common sources of sodium are table salt, processed foods, drugs, and softened water.

Common table salt consists of 40% sodium and 60% chloride, so if he takes in 6 grams of salt, he’s actually consuming 2.4 grams of sodium.

Tell him to be alert for products that list sodium ingredients such as sodium benzoate and sodium citrate.

Also, teach your hypertensive patient how to read food labels for sodium content.

* Sodium-Free: less than 5 mg of sodium per serving.

* Very Low Sodium: 35 mg or less per serving.

* Reduced Sodium: sodium content reduced by at least 25% of usual level.

* Light Sodium: sodium content reduced by at least 50% of usual level.

Caution your patient about foods that claim to be low in sodium.

If the sodium content is less than 5 mg per serving, he can eat the food without concern.

If it’s higher than 5 mg, he’ll need to include the amount in his calculation of sodium intake for the day.

If necessary, he should ask his physician or pharmacist to recommend alternative drugs with little or no sodium.

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a diet promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the NIH, a United States government organisation) to control hypertension.

The Dieatary Glycemic Index menus and diet plans will help you to apply the DASH diet.