When focusing on a low sodium diet, it can sometimes be difficult to find easy options. Fresh foods are most recommended and of course are the best, healthiest option but are quickly perishable and sometimes expensive. Frozen foods are a good alternative, but they also eventually perish or get freezer burnt, can be pricey, and take up a lot of room in the freezer.
Canned foods are typically a pantry staple and are cheap, long lasting alternatives to fresh or frozen options. Most canned foods have a very long shelf life so there is no worry about the contents perishing, therefore less wasted food and money. Canned foods, however, are typically very high sodium.
Most canned foods are packed with sodium to preserve freshness. Whether you can taste it or not, even canned vegetables are packed with sodium. A simple can of chicken noodle soup, for example, can have almost an entire day’s worth of sodium in one can.
Luckily, however, there are still options. So how can you find low sodium canned foods options?
Here are some tips to finding low sodium canned foods:
Look at the labels:
Today, people are more informed about their health and how sodium affects the body. In order to capitalize on smarter consumers, companies are coming out with a lot more options for health savvy people. Look for labels that specify “low sodium” or “no salt added”.
You might be surprised to find that almost all canned food options now have a “reduced sodium” option. As lower sodium options are becoming more and more popular, you should have no trouble finding these options in your neighborhood grocery store. If you are still having trouble finding low sodium and no salt added options, however, your local health food store likely carries a whole aisle of options.
Check the nutrition facts:
On the back of the can, check the nutrition facts label. You will be able to find the “percent daily value” of sodium as well as calories, saturated fat, and other nutrition facts. Try to look specifically for foods listed as having 5% or less sodium for the percent daily value.
Pay attention to serving sizes:
Because they come in such small cans, it is easy to consider one full can a serving size. This is unfortunately not the case. Typically, for example, one can of soup is two and a half servings. Even if you are eating a reduced sodium option, if you are not eating the recommended serving, you could be eating two or three times the sodium listed on the can. Pay attention to serving sizes.
Rinse your vegetables:
Even for low and reduced sodium options, it can help to drain and rinse the extra sodium off some canned food options. Vegetables and beans are good examples of foods packed in sodium that can be rinsed off before eating to eliminate some of the added salt.
Fresh foods are always the best option for healthy living. For those times when eating fresh is not possible, however, there are lower sodium canned options. Keep a lookout for low sodium options on labels, and pay attention the nutrition contents and servings. A low sodium diet does not have to be difficult. With lower sodium canned options, you can have healthy and tasty options stocked in your pantry.
To find out more about low sodium canned foods, Click Here.
Also published on Medium.