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Sticking to a low-salt diet when eating out

June 16, 2017

About the Author

photo of Julie Corliss

Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Julie Corliss is the executive editor of the Harvard Heart Letter. Before working at Harvard, she was a medical writer and editor at HealthNews, a consumer newsletter affiliated with The New England Journal of Medicine. She … See Full Bio
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Lynn P.
July 18, 2017

Shopping in a major grocery chain lately, I stood and looked around me. I was floored by the realization that most of what the store had in stock was full of sodium and salt. When we realize that salt is only one part of the sodium issue, we understand that even non-salty foods can be loaded in sodium. Products that have baking powder and baking soda in them come to mind. I also realized that this is not natural. Animals do not sprinkle salt on almost all the food they eat. So I realized how out of balance we are on the sodium scale. We do not know all the ways that sodium affects us. One article I read said that sodium negatively affects calcium in our bodies. It said that calcium assists in expelling fats in our feces. I believe it said 50% of fat eaten will be expelled with a high calcium diet. Whether that is true or not, I do not know. But salt has so far gone under the radar when it comes to overweight. It still carries the “only negative function” of holding onto water, causing high blood pressure and related problems. Maybe we need to take another look at our high sodium diets and how this affects our weight.

July 15, 2017

These are all fabulous tips! I definitely enjoy going out with my family or friends to a nice meal. I think the phrase “everything in moderation” goes a long way 🙂 You should never feel as if you’re missing out on doing things because they aren’t “healthy”- just a few changes can make a big difference! Just always put in mind the ABCD rule. Appetizers, Bread, Cocktails or Dessert. These are the most high caloric foods. Choose one from that list or not to eat at all just focus on your main entree.


Joseph Shapiro
June 20, 2017

Living at senior facility serving dinner, skipping lunches, there, and at fast food and commercial restaurants, realized thirty pound loss within two months. Cut out bread, halved portions. Not on a “diet” ; rather, the new norm. Not heroic. No sense of sacrificing anything. Feels good. Probably another twenty five to go.

Gordon Brooks
June 20, 2017

In Hotels serving steaks with Gravy, I push aside and the gravy and ask for a big bowl of warm or hot water and dipped the steak pieces in the bowl before eating it. Gordon

June 19, 2017

You can eat Chinese menus if you stick to the vegan side of things. I have found that steamed rice covered with mushrooms a tasty choice and what little sodium is in the mushrooms is offset by the low sodium rice dish. It is very filling and you can finish off at the fresh fruits on the salad bar. After 5 years of eating Vegan because of heart disease, I have become very comfortable eating out, or at home. The rewards of feeling good far exceed any inconvenience for me. Although, my vegan journey started because of health considerations, I have found that I also embrace the ethical side of the lifestyle.

June 19, 2017

My own experience lead me to avoid almost all “chain” eateries. Much of their offerings are pre-prepared centrally. The salt and fat and sugar contents can be astronomical.
Smaller family owned restaurants are generally more flexible and accommodating, especially those which cook to order.

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