Lots of seniors need to be very careful about the amount of salt in their diets. But even if your senior thinks she’s being careful about her salt intake, she might be getting more than she expects. Here are four big places salt hides out.
Foods Labeled “Reduced Salt”
One of the types of foods you might think your senior could really chow down on might be foods that are labeled “reduced salt.” Unfortunately, lots of foods labeled in this way are a little misleading. When you really look at the label, the salt content might still be really high. Compared to the “regular” salt version, the reduced salt version might actually be a little bit less. But if that reduction isn’t significant, your senior is still getting a lot of salt.
Cold and Hot Cereals
Breakfast cereals, both the cold and the hot versions, often contain a lot of salt. That happens because salt is a preservative and cereals are made to have long shelf lives. The added salt is also there to make sure that the cereal is tasty, though, so versions with lower salt levels may taste “funny” to your senior. Make sure you read the labels.
Most Types of Cheese and Lunch Meats
Both cheese and deli meats are preserved with salt, which makes them a lot higher in this mineral than your senior might think. In fact, some mild cheeses that don’t taste salty at all still have quite a bit of salt in them. You can find cured meats and cheeses with lower salt levels, but again you need to make sure that you read the labels carefully. If you’re purchasing cheeses and meats at the grocery deli counter, you can easily get label information. Ask the person behind the counter and they should have a pamphlet that gives you all the information you need about ingredients and nutritional data.
Baked goods, whether they’re prepackaged or homemade, all have some salt in them. The prepackaged versions have a lot more salt than you’d expect, though. As with everything, it pays to read the label before you get all excited about a particular baked good. Keep in mind that just because something is sweet, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any salt.
When you cook more for your senior, that helps to ensure you know exactly what’s in her food. That might not be feasible with your schedule, though. Hiring elder care providers to do the cooking gets you the solution you want with the convenience you need.