General Question

Adagio's avatar

Increasing sodium content in my diet, can you suggest foods to help?

Asked by Adagio (14045points) September 26th, 2012

While I realise a lot of people try to reduce sodium intake, I have very low sodium levels in my body at present and need to increase this, can anyone suggest ways/foods that will achieve this end?

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23 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Simply shake that salt cellar over appropriate foods.

wundayatta's avatar

Put extra salt on your food? Eat salt cod without rinsing it. No. That’s too much.

I, too can benefit from more salt, since my medication keeps me from taking in enough salt. But I don’t really try that hard. Not such a big fan of sodium.

JLeslie's avatar

Soups have a lot of salt.

Do you take in a lot of potassium? Maybe that is disrupting your “salts” ratio? Do you drink an excessive amount of water?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Pretzels are a good snack. They are low in fat and high in sodium. Pasta sauces in a jar, as well as salad dressings are also usually high in sodium. And another vote for Gatorade. How about a Chinese takeaway?

It also depends upon where you live. In the US, it’s not hard to find salt added to most processed foods. In other countries, this isn’t always the case.

@gailcalled A ‘salt cellar’? Isn’t that a small bowl placed on the table and a tiny spoon is used for portions? I’ve only seen one in use at posh restaurants or in the movies.

Adagio's avatar

I do like salt, I use a combination of sea salt and kelp, ground together in a salt grinder, don’t imagine there is much of a shortage of sodium in that combination. Gatorade? I live in NZ and am not familiar with that product, can you explain what it is exactly and why you think it would be useful @woodcutter ?

JLeslie's avatar

Gatorade has a tremendous amount of potassium, I am not so sure it will help your salt levels, possibly hurt them? The body works to maintain a balance between all the electrolytes.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Do you like fish sauce? If not, learn to. You can cook with it, dip with it, season with it, just so long as you have a taste for it. And it’s loaded with salt. In your neck of the woods there’s also Vegemite which I understand is an “acquired taste” but something like 8% salt. Oh and pretty much all fast food. Lots of canned soups have high salt content also check out bread and chips – just be careful of the calories those are really fast ways to gain weight.

gailcalled's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer: The old-fashioned meaning has been updated to include this (aka, salt shaker):

”...a dish or container for storing salt, now typically a closed container with perforations in the lid for sprinkling.”

DrBill's avatar

I also have low sodium, but to a greater extent. I over salt everything, snack on chips, pretzels, and take 4 GM Rx grade sodium Chloride every day, and I am still borderline low. I feel your pain.

gailcalled's avatar

Gatorade ingredients; potassium is only 1%. Recommended daily dose of K is 4500 mg.
Original Gatorade Thirstquencher:

Serving size 20 US fluid ounces (590 ml)

Carbohydrates 14
– Sugars 10
– Dietary fiber 0
Fat 0
Protein 0
Potassium 30 mg (1%)
Sodium 5 mg (0%)


Gatorade Perform 02
Nutritional value per serving

Carbohydrates 21

- Sugars 21
– Dietary fiber 0
Fat 0
Protein 0
Potassium 45 mg (1%)
Sodium 150 mg (10%)

@JLeslie; I am not recommending Gatorade to increase salt consumption. I am commenting on the amounts of K in an individual serving, according tot the source I listed above.

JLeslie's avatar

Just to support my guess about Gatorade, and it is a guess, I am not a doctor, just working on high school science, this article talks about how when you have too little potassium you body hoards potassium and sodium, so I am thinking excess potassium might cause sodium to be lost also. Not sure. I definitely would talk to my doctor about increasing potassium intake if he has only recommended sodium increases. They work together, the relationship is very important.

@gailcalled when I looked up a label online the potassium number was much higher. I’m going to check the gatorade website, which I had not checked. Still, I think check with her doctor. Plus, the sodium according to your numbers is next to nothing in the original, I did not know there was a super duper one. How will that help? Gatorade is for people who have lost a tremendous amount of water and salts through sweating. Gatorade is supposed to be balanced for people who have normal systems that regulate electrolytes well.

woodcutter's avatar

Ok Gatorade and a BIG slab of bacon, mmmm…bacon -ade. gettin the munchies now.

Adagio's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, I do drink around 2½ L water per day but that is because I have an indwelling urethral catheter and need to drink that much to keep it functioning well, I realise it can have the effect of washing away sodium from the body. When I was in hospital once they also discovered my sodium was low and gave me these large, absolutely disgusting tasting tablets to dissolve in water on several days running, the taste was abominable. My doctor has suggested a bladder alkaliser called Ural bladder alkaliser, perhaps you have heard of it, I’m also hoping to avoid taking that because it does affect the pH in the bladder and because my catheter is working very well at the moment I would rather not risk upsetting that, pH certainly has a bearing on how the catheter functions, I guess I should have presented all this information with the original question.

gailcalled's avatar

@Adagio: Given this new information, I retract my rather breezy advice. Should not your doctor be the one to advise you on this issue?

JLeslie's avatar

@Adagio I’m sorry I have not heard of it. I understand your concern. My aunt was prescribed potassium, because her potassium runs low. It was a packet that dissolves in water and then she drinks it. She hated it, said it was disgusting. Now she just takes potassium pills, maybe there are sodium pills?

Do you eat a lot of fruits?

Adagio's avatar

@gailcalled My doctor and I are still in discussion about the problem, I only found out about it today.

@JLeslie Do I eat lots of fruits? I used to but I must say I do not these days, vegetables yes but fruits no, not sure why that is……

JLeslie's avatar

@Adagio I just wondered because fruits tend to have a lot of potassium. I’m not recommending more fruit.

Someone once told me, and I don’t know of this is true, that the more salt we eat, the more we crave for taste. She said we get used to the level of salt in foods, and for our taste buds to be happy we need to maintain the level in foods. She was saying it to explain how to cut salt, that once you cut salt for a few weeks the food will start to taste salty and flavorful enough even with the lower salt content, maybe it works in the reverse? Add a little extra salt to everything.

Do you eat very few calories daily? Fairly thin?

augustlan's avatar

Prepackaged lunch meats and bacon both have a lot of sodium.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Adagio I don’t know what the food labeling requirements are in your country, but do you know how to read them? Also sea salt doesn’t have as much sodium as NaCl salt. Soy sauce is another high sodium item too.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Great suggesstion, Chinese food, very salty.

laurenkem's avatar

@Adagio , I too have a very low sodium count. Please keep your eye on that with your doctor or you could end up in a coma like I did – it took them a while to even figure out what was wrong with me!

Now that all that drama is over with, I have been told that I need to take at least one tablet of sodium chloride per day, which I do. However, I still feel the need to oversalt everything and my doctor has said that is normal as well. The only part of taking the sodium pills that sometimes causes me a problem is that they’re not always available (I assume there’s not a high demand for them). I’ve had to purchase them online many times, because not even CVS or Walgreens would have them.

Best of luck with this, and make sure you check in with your doctor regularly.

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