Category Archives: Low Sodium Meals

World Heart Day- 10 Things You can do to Improve your Hearth Health!

Today, Sept 29, 2016, is World Heart Day. Cardiovascular Disease is the world’s number one cause of death. Not so cheerful, but there’s so much you can do about it!

  1. walk-dogExercise daily. Getting your kids involved means that they will grow up with healthy heart, body and bones, and the right habits to keep their hearts healthy. Work slowly up to 2.5 hours per week of moderate-level exercise, like brisk walking.A great way to start walking is to get a dog. You’ll never forget it’s time to go for a walk if your pet gets used to it. He or she will remind you quite insistently!You should do some muscle building exercises as well. You don’t have to go to a fancy gym, although if you enjoy that time, you should absolutely spend the money and go! There are plenty of ways to build muscle at home.|
  2. Lemon Rosemary Pork
    Lemon Rosemary Pork

    Eat Right. Eat lean meats, including poultry with no skin, fish,  nuts, legumes like beans and peas, and lots of fresh vegetables. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats. And keep the sodium low.  MagicKitchen.com features lots of low sodium meals in both its A la Carte menu and it’s complete meals offerings.

  3. Read Labels. Part of eating right is looking at the labels of the items you buy in the grocery store.  Make a game of this- look for an item that says, “Lower Sodium!” Or “Low Fat”, then look at the nutritional label. Chances are you’ll find that it’s lower sodium, all right. Lower than it used to be, but still way out of the ball park, and far too high. You’re much better off going with fresh or frozen items than with canned.
  4. Practice Dental Hygiene. Believe it or not, teeth that aren’t taken care of properly can cause all kinds of health problems down the road, including heart disease! Floss, mouthwash, and frequent dental checkups are a good rule of thumb!
  5. smoke-killsDon’t Smoke. If you smoke, believe me, I know how hard it is to stop. But there are a ton of ways now to quit smoking that are a lot easier than going cold turkey. There are medicines, quit coaches,  and ebooks galore out there.Personally, I used Zyban, almost 20 years ago. Here’s what it did for me: Instead of wanting a cigarette roughly every half hour, I would go four or more hours without even thinking of one. After that, it was will power, but computer games helped with that.
  6. Avoid Secondhand Smoke. Inhaling second hand smoke is a risk factor for having a heart attack. Most people smoke outside now, but avoid it when it’s there, ad stay healthier!!
  7. Get Yearly Checkups. Talk to your health care team and get your cholesterol checked, your blood pressure monitored, and control how you eat if you have diabetes or other health issues. Keep on top of it, it’s the only life you have!!
  8. Lose weight if you need to. I’m one to talk, I’m probably 25 pounds overweight right now. But I know that I’ll get on top of it soon. I use weightwatchers, they teach you how to eat. Don’t use fast weight loss plans.I know a couple who got on the pregnant horse hormone diet. (The HCG diet). Thorse-laughhey ate a meager 500 calories a day for a few months, and they lost weight fast. But the day afterwards, they were stuffing themselves with chicken wings and french fries.They hadn’t learned anything about how to eat healthy, and they gained it all back almost as quickly as they lost it.Take the time. It didn’t go on in a week, don’t expect to lose it in a week. They say it take 29 days to break a habit. They also say in 25 days or so, you’ll start to feel the difference in your body. So a good rule of thumb is to give your healthy new lifestyle a full month. You can do anything for a month, right?
  9. Limit Alcohol. Let’s face it, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably over 30, right? It’s time to settle into a more healthy lifestyle, and that means drinking less. A glass of wine with dinner’s fine. A cocktail once in a while is fine. Moderation is the key. ‘ Nuff said.
  10. sleep2Get Enough Sleep. Seven hours a night shouldn’t be too hard.  You might have to give up Stephen Colbert, but you can PVR him.  Getting a sleep routine down is important, too. You sleep more soundly (important for heart health) if you go to bed and get up about the same times.

Here’s to World Heart Day!  Thanks to that organization for their work towards a healthier lifestyle for all of us!

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

 

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7 Salt-Slashing Tricks

saltnoEat less salt. You’ve heard the advice before. And it might sound like it’s a sentence to somehow enjoy eating flavorless foods. Fortunately, many foods and dishes still taste great without being loaded with sodium, and there are multiple ways you can lower the amount of sodium in your diet.

Keep Your Hands Off the Salt Shaker

If you’re trying to eat less sodium, an easy place to start is to keep your hands off the salt shaker. For most people, eating processed foods is usually the source of too much sodium. But if you’re a regular salt shaker reading-labelwho seasons foods like tomatoes, corn, mixed vegetables, and even watermelon with salt, putting the salt shaker down can help you cut back on sodium.

Beware of Sauces, Mixes, and Seasonings
It’s easy to overlook, but things like sauces, salad dressings, and mixed seasonings usually contain high levels of sodium. If you’re not sure how much sodium a sauce, mix or seasoning contains, read the food label. Keep in mind that a healthy amount of sodium is 1,500 mg to 2,300 mg a day.

Look for Low-Sodium Options

An estimated 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure. Too much sodium in the diet is often a factor. Fortunately, many food manufacturers have made low-sodium versions of soups, cheeses, prepared meals, and other foods to help you cut back on sodium.

beef-ternderloin-1
Plated Beef Tenderloin Low Sodium Meal

At MagicKitchen.com. we’ve created a large selection of Low Sodium Meals that make it easy to cut back on sodium and still enjoy tasty, mouth-watering meals like Zesty Orange Chicken Tenders, Corn and Pepper Medley, and Mixed Greens, Cheese Manicotti & Vegetable Alfredo, Meatballs with Penne Pasta & Broccoli, and many others.

Steer Clear of Fast Food
Fast foods like burgers, fries, pizza, hot dogs, and fried foods are some of the worst offenders when it comes to sodium. These are foods you want to limit or avoid to eat less sodium. If you’re pressed for time, order a salad and go easy on the dressing or eat some fresh fruit. If you do go out to eat, ask for any sauces to be served on the side.

Season Foods with Herbs and Spices
Fresh herbs in mortar
Just because your doctor told you to cut back on sodium, doesn’t mean you have to settle for bland-tasting food. In fact, herbs and spices can add a lot of flavor to your favorite foods (not to mention vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants), without adding sodium to your meal.

Salt-Cravings Change with Time
If you’re trying to cut back on your taste for salty foods, be patient. It takes time to retrain your taste buds and your brain to enjoy food that isn’t loaded with sodium. Gradually reducing the amount of sodium you consume is the best way to make the change.

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Low-Sodium Summer Drinks

Chicken ana Luisa, a great low sodium choice
Chicken ana Luisa, a great low sodium choice

The reality is, most of us consume too much sodium. Many of those high-sodium foods are summertime favorites. Sandwiches made with processed meats, hot dogs cooked on the grill, and any fast food meal served with French fries, are a few examples.

If you’re trying to keep your sodium levels under control, eating low-sodium foods is your best defense. You’ll find a great selection of Low-Sodium frozen meals made from fresh ingredients at MagicKitchen.com. But it’s not the only way you can cut back on sodium this summer.

Sodium is also found in a lot of popular drinks. Vegetable juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, and some sodas also contain higher levels of sodium. Most people should consume no more than 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day, according to the American Heart Association. Most of us consume much more.

To limit the amount of sodium in your diet, eat fewer processed foods. You can also limit sodium in your diet by rethinking your drink.

waterDrink More Water

You can start by drinking more water. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water a day. It’s free, contains zero calories and no sodium. It’s the best way to stay hydrated on a hot summer day. Keep in mind that caffeinated drinks typically contain added sodium and contribute to dehydration.

Flavor your Water
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to stock up on high-sodium drinks that have a lot of flavor.  Just add slices of your favorite fruits and veggies (lemons, oranges, watermelon, cucumber, mint) to a pitcher of ice-cold water for a refreshing and flavorful drink.   It’s also a good way to drink more water and cut back on juice, soda, and other beverages higher in sodium. Try your favorite flavor combinations –  tomato-basil, cucumber-mint, lemon-raspberry.  The possibilities are endless, and thirst quenching.

Try Juice and Seltzer

Take your favorite juice, and mix it half and half with some seltzer, to give it a great refreshing boost! Adding bubbles and cutting down on the sugar at the same time makes this a win-win idea.

iced-drinkExperiment with Iced Tea

What’s your favorite tea for a cozy winter’s night?  Chai?  Ginger tea? Herbal tea? Make it cold, and enjoy it even more!

Look for Low-Sodium Flavored Drinks

Take a trip to the store in search of a cold drink. In addition to bottled water, you’ll see all kinds of other options, including water with added flavoring and other low-sodium flavored drinks. Some sugar-free powdered drink mixes low in sodium can also be another option to quench your thirst on a hot summer day, help you stay hydrated, and avoid consuming too much sodium.

There are a variety of reasons following a low-sodium diet is important. But perhaps the biggest reason is protecting your heart. About one in three Americans has high blood pressure, often caused by a high-sodium diet. Left unchecked, it can damage your heart, increase your risk for a stroke, harm your kidneys, limit circulation, and contribute to vision problems.

Set a goal to consume less sodium this summer. Enjoy Low-Sodium meals by MagicKitchen.com and rethink your drink.

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Low Sodium Diet? Follow These Grocery Store Strategies

Taking a trip to the store without a plan can be a disaster. It’s a good way to blow your budget. And it’s all too easy to toss unhealthy foods into your cart and be on your way. But if you’re trying to control your blood pressure and protect your heart, you’ve got to stick to a low-sodium diet.

Eating less sodium is a good idea for most people. Most adults eat an estimated 3,500 mg of sodium a day, mostly from processed foods. Yet, the American Heart Association recommends most people eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

So what can you do about it?

vegetables-449950_640Read food labels. You might be surprised to find that common foods like canned soups, canned meats, breads, and frozen pizzas all contain high levels of sodium. Look for low-sodium options. And instead of seasoning foods with salt, try adding flavor to your favorite foods with herbs and spices or a prepared sodium-free seasoning like Mrs. Dash®.

Buy more fruits and vegetables. No, not the canned variety, or the ones added to a sodium-lathered stir-fry from your favorite take-out. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain little to no sodium. Add potassium-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet like bananas, oranges, potatoes, and tomatoes, and they’ll help rid your body of excess sodium.

Choose fat-free dairy products. Cheese is one of the big offenders when it comes to excess sodium in your diet. Pay attention to the type of dairy products you buy at the store. Choose low-fat and low-sodium options.

Get Unsalted Nuts. Nuts are a good source of protein and healthy fat. But if you munch the salted variety, there’s a good chance you’re getting too much sodium in your diet. Fortunately, most nuts are available salted and unsalted. Go with the unsalted kind. You might have to get used to a slightly different taste at first, but you’ll learn to enjoy it and be healthier.

Choose whole grains. Wholegrain breads, pasta, brown rice, and cereals, are generally lower in sodium than their counterparts made with refined grains.

low sodium meal
Lemon Rosemary Pork, a Low Sodium Choice!

If you’re not all that keen on refining your grocery shopping game plan to buy low-sodium foods, don’t worry. At MagicKitchen.com, we’ve made it easy for you to enjoy low-sodium foods for breakfast lunch and dinner. You’ll enjoy meals like Grilled Chicken with Florentine Rice, Asparagus & Carrots, Lemon Rosemary Pork with Savory Rice and Glazed Carrots, and Turkey Meatloaf Rice Pilaf & Zucchini Saute. Hungry? Check out all our Low-Sodium meals here.

Check out this informational video!

Here are some other low sodium articles you might enjoy.

Healthy food, Healthy Eyes

Dark Chocolate Good for the Heart?

Sandwiches Hidden Source of Too Much Sodium

Eating Out Low Sodium Tips

Health Benefits of Black Beans

Salt Affects more than just Blood Pressure

High Potassium More Important than Low Salt in Heart Healthy Diet?

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