How Does a Low Sodium Dies Affect My Health?

Moving to a low sodium diet might help save your life. A high sodium diet is all-too-common with the prevalence of fast food restaurants and processed foods growing throughout the world. High sodium levels, however, pose many risks to the health of the heart. On the contrary, a low sodium diet reduces all of these risks and increases overall health.

What is a Low Sodium Diet?

A low sodium diet is exactly what it sounds like. It is a diet that includes low levels of sodium. To lower the level of sodium within a diet requires removing or minimizing the amount of foods that are high in sodium while replacing them with low sodium alternatives.

Processed foods which are often found in cans or boxes are typically the highest sources of sodium. Food purchased at many restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, are also often high in sodium. As well, salt is extremely high in sodium.

Reducing salt is one of the most effective methods of adhering to a low sodium diet, but there are many other ways to remove high levels of sodium from one’s diet. For example, nutrition labels let people know how much sodium is present per serving. Many restaurants also publish nutritional information which can be examined to determine what low-sodium dishes could be purchased in lieu of high sodium alternatives.

Lastly, meats and dairy include much higher levels of sodium than fruits and vegetables. Reducing the amount of meat and dairy in one’s diet is one step toward lower sodium. Replacing them with fruits and veggies can also aid in creating a low sodium diet.

Low Sodium Diet

Sodium Effects on Heart

High-sodium diets have many long-term, negative effects on the body. One organ which is most impacted is the heart. Sodium effects on the heart include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Increases the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Raises the chance of overall heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Heart and other forms of cancer

How Do Diets Help My Heart?

There are many diets which are designed to help increase heart health. A low sodium diet is one of the most efficient ways to do this. By engaging in a low sodium diet, the risk of high blood pressure drops dramatically. The risk of cardiovascular disease, heart failure, hypertension, and the development of heart cancer decrease substantially. In short, reducing the amount of sodium is one’s diet may save your life.

A picture of Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD wearing his Mercy One doctor attire.

About the Author

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director is an expert in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the outcome of his commitment to the development and improvement of both of these techniques. He runs a Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and manages Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients from all over the country and locally. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ciuffo.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Thoracic Surgery