The Low-Salt Diet

('Low-Sodium' Or 'Salt-Free' Diet)

Salt (sodium chloride) is a mineral consisting of two elements, sodium and chlorine. Salt contains approximately 2,300 mg. of sodium per flat teaspoon and as a low-salt diet may be designed to give only 500-1500mg. in the whole day it is obvious how important salt control is.

A label on food saying 'No added salt' does not mean it is necessarily suitable for all the diets, as the food may contain sodium in some other form.

Sodium occurs in bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cake and pudding mixtures, self-raising flour, Scofa bread and flour, and many other preparations which contain bicarbonate of soda or baking powder, Many people also use bicarbonate (even washing soda is not unknown) in cooking vegetables.

How the Normal Diet is Modified

Various degrees of salt restriction may be prescribed, the most common being to forbid the use of all salt at table and all foods with a high sodium content, and to allow little or no salt in cooking.

A more strict control allows no salt at all in cooking, and foods allowed are selected from those with a very low salt content.

The latter diet is seldom used for very long periods, as it is so unpalatable to most people; also, modern medical treatment is making the use of very restricted diets less necessary.

Because sodium occurs naturally in most foods, it is impossible to have a natural diet which really is a 'salt-free' one.

Note. Your doctor will say which modification is needed and his instructions should be followed carefully.

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