lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
[personal profile] lizcommotion posting in [community profile] cookability
*waves* Hi community! I'm looking for advice on how to fit moar sodium into my diet. I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, and one of the most helpful things for me not falling down and feeling super dizzy is to eat 3-4 grams of sodium per day.

  • As I grew up in a household that cooked a very low sodium diet, my palate is adjusted to eating about 1.5 grams of sodium per day. I am used to not salting anything in my cooking, and basically added salt usually tastes gross except for in specific contexts where I'm used to it (e.g. soy sauce with sushi, olives, etc.).
  • The last time I did much (any) cooking was December, right when I was comfort cooking because my dog died. And then I got food poisoning (long story), had to go to the ER four times, and saga that lasted til early February.
  • I have been wanting to go vegetarian, or at least less meat-consuming, but this is hard to do with other concerns. Also, salted meat (like jerky or salami) is an easy way to get lots of salt.
  • My appetite is just...terribad. I'm not sure exactly why, if it's the POTS (which can impact appetite) or something else, but anyway. Eating more sodium will help with the POTS which will probably help with my appetite long term, but short term it is *very* hard to find anything with sodium I want to put in my mouth and chew and swallow. Or if I do, it's either potato chips (unsustainable) or the next day I no longer want to eat whatever I just ate.
  • My partner has threatened to make me drink soy sauce or some horrible soy-miso concoction every day if I don't come up with some recipes or at least snacks I will eat regularly so that I get enough sodium.

With that being said, does anyone have any suggestions for SUPER EASY for someone with about zero energy recipes/mixes with salt (or where salt could be added without grossness) and/or easy snacks that are prepackaged but not full of preservatives or what have you that I can grab'n'go that will also help add salt to my diet?

Date: 2014-09-18 06:52 pm (UTC)
killing_rose: Raven/corvid in the frozen surf (Default)
From: [personal profile] killing_rose
Miso? Very least, could make soup and add soy sauce. Or egg drop/flower soup. (The premixes are, I think, high in sodium.)

Date: 2014-09-19 03:19 pm (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse

miso goes nicely on toast. If you put butter* with it that is even more salt.

[disclaimer: I'm an Australian. Miso-on-toast is the best gluten-free alternative to vegemite-on-toast I've found]

* I'm assuming salted butter, although I've recently discovered that there are people who put unsalted butter on toast. I... don't get it.

Date: 2014-09-18 07:20 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
Does the last bullet point mean miso soup is out? I really liked miso soup as a winter hot drink, for a while.

As for putting salt on things... would mixing salt with pepper & herbs help? Eg, for salting potatoes?

My only other suggestion is to very very slowly increase the amount of salt in, eg, soup and sauces. Start well below what the recipe calls for, since you'll balk at the "usual" amount, and slowly sneak it up.

Oh, popcorn! Salted popcorn snacks! if that's too, er, salty for you, mix with other spices. I've had great basil & pepper popcorn, or mustardseed and fennelseed. Googling 'spice popcorn' will get a whole array.

Date: 2014-09-18 07:24 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
Oh, and an alternative to salted meats: roasted chickpeas. Usually roasted with salt and some other spice, depending on the brand you can find.

Date: 2014-09-18 07:28 pm (UTC)
ghoti: fish jumping out of bowl (Default)
From: [personal profile] ghoti
Pretzels too! Also any kind of prepared/instant soups, flavoured rice pouches, ramen, that sort of thing. Even the organic stuff I've seen (less preservatives, hopefully) are still pretty high in salt. Packaged white bread has a surprising amount of salt. Most seasoning blends (like for taco meat) are similarly mostly salt.

I would maybe suggest looking at lists of things that people with high blood pressure are advised to avoid, since opposite ends of the sodium spectrum and all...

Date: 2014-09-18 07:31 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
Ramen noodles with the flavor packet mixed into the noodles instead of used to make broth would be relatively high in sodium (the packet I just looked at said 830 mg). I could see getting sick of ramen rapidly, but it's cheap and easy to make.

Date: 2014-09-18 07:42 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Also have POTS -- my go to salty foods:

- pickles! Both standard store cucumber pickles and less common things like pickled watermelon, asparagus, mushrooms, sweet peppers, hot peppers

- olives! I adore the wrinkled, strong Kalamata olives. You can also get Olivada paste -- it's like olive mustard and it's easy to add half-a-gram by spreading it thick on one side of a sandwich.

- "Better than Boullion" stock base. it comes in every size, so you can taste it before committing. Like most bouillons, it's salty as all get out. Unlike most, it's really tasty. I drink their Chicken or Not-a-chicken when I'm feeling ill. It's a paste, not powder, so it tastes much fresher.

- canned anything: adding salt is part of the safe canning process. I like sardines, tuna, canned beans (no soaking!), artichoke hearts.

- pretzel nuggets: big as the first joint on your thumb so much more surface area to cover with salt.

- you can get salt tablets as well as "sport drink" type powders. These are often used to treat dehydration. Check with your doc whether these would work.

- in general, salt harmonizes well with fried food, peppery food, and umami (mushrooms, broiled meat) foods

Date: 2014-09-18 08:26 pm (UTC)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
From: [personal profile] melannen
I grew up in a low-sodium household as well, so my only advice is based on what I was taught not to do:

a) salted peanuts or other nuts? (including salted peanut butter). I don't notice peanuts being over-salted as quickly as other foods, for some reason.

b) Bread. Baked goods in general, but esp. storebought bread. Some brands of bread have been on a lower-salt kick lately, but if you check labels, some white bread will still have up to a third of a gram of sodium (or more!) per slice. And since a lot of it is via baking soda and other sodium compounds rather than NaCl, you don't taste it as being super-salty right away. You can look at other baked goods (like crackers and cookies) and see which other ones may have more salt than expected. On the super-easy-but-homemade end, Bisquick has half a gram of sodium per serving - and there's tons of "easy" recipes using Bisquick as a base.

c) What are your feelings on butter? One slice of white bread generously slathered with salted butter can be up to half a gram of sodium...

d) Cheese. I get grossed out by too much salt pretty quickly as well, but for some reason I can slather salty cheese or butter on everything and it's fine. (This doesn't work if you have dairy or fat issues, though, I suppose.)
Edited Date: 2014-09-18 08:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-09-18 08:36 pm (UTC)
southernmyst: (Default)
From: [personal profile] southernmyst
When I needed to add lots of sodium to my diet, I made salt pills. I found the most success with buying gelatin capsules and filling them with ordinary table salt, and then swallowing those as normal.

The capsules come in a variety of sizes; more here.

Assuming that chart on Wikipedia is right, here's the yield you should get for a few sizes:
Capsule SizeVolumeSalt WeightSodium WeightPills Per 3g Sodium

In all honesty, given all your restrictions, this is what I'd suggest doing. Make sure to take them with food on your stomach, and milk, and spread them out during the day.

You can get kits to make it easier to fill them, like this one. You can buy the capsules at health food stores, often, or online. Just search for "empty gelatin capsules".

Good luck with it; sounds miserable.

Date: 2014-09-20 12:04 pm (UTC)
southernmyst: (Default)
From: [personal profile] southernmyst
Hubby's just pointed out that his marmite has 3.9g sodium per 100g. It's a spread; he has his on top of cheese toast, so it's super easy to have. I'll bet he's just had about 50g on his two slices of toast for lunch. It doesn't taste of all that salt, per se, because the other flavors mask it.

In the US, you can sometimes find it in the international food sections of grocery stores, or you might try vegemite if you find that, which is the kind they make in Australia and New Zealand, as I understand it.

If you've never tried marmite or vegemite, get the smallest amount possible just to try first. Some people love it; some people loathe it; very few fall between these extremes.

Date: 2014-09-20 02:50 pm (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
vegemite has a 'serving size' of 5g, which contains 173 mg of sodium, according to the label [about 3.5 g/100g]. The average serving on toast is probably quite a bit less than that, unless you grew up with it (and are willing to eat it by the spoonful. Really, the kind of things only some Australians will do)

Date: 2014-09-18 08:50 pm (UTC)
birke: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birke
I have a personal fondness for hickory-smoked Tofurkey slices. Vegetarian and very salty.
On the few occasions I've tried canned tomato juice, I've found it way too salty. So perhaps it would work for you.

Date: 2014-09-18 09:00 pm (UTC)
redbird: apricot (apricot)
From: [personal profile] redbird
Salted nuts might be useful. If they taste too salty to you, try buying both salted and unsalted of the same kind of nut, and mixing them thoroughly in the bag. Also, some trail mixes have salted nuts in with the fruit and such. Also, roasted nuts keep pretty well: if you want peanuts (say) today but not tomorrow, save them and maybe you'll want them again in a week or three.

Since you like sushi, have you tried packaged nori snacks? The energy requirement there that they might not be available in a non-Asian supermarket, but once you have them it's just open the package and eat.

Date: 2014-09-18 09:47 pm (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass
You already thought of the first few things that came to my mind, olives and salami and potato chips.

How about sipping broth or stock? As a beverage, not a meal?

Peanut butter by the spoonful? Boiled eggs with salt and pepper?

Date: 2014-09-18 11:49 pm (UTC)
alumiere: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alumiere
One way to get more salt in homemade cooking is to mix it with other spices, strong umami flavor and sweetness plus acidity. If you've ever watched a cooking show, you probably heard someone mention balance; that means all 5 tastes we get - salt, heat, sweet, sour, and umami. Try upping the other flavors and the increased salt should be less pronounced. As an aside, vegetarian foods that are pre-made are often high in sodium in comparison with plain tofu etc.

Date: 2014-09-19 01:51 am (UTC)
sage: Still of Natasha Romanova from Iron Man 2 (Default)
From: [personal profile] sage
Gatorade, if you can stomach it. Sports drinks are intentionally loaded with salt and electrolytes to replace what athletes sweat out.

Nachos? My go-to 3 minute nachos recipe is this: pour a bunch of restaurant-style tortilla chips onto a plate, dump half a can of beans (pinto or black, drained and rinsed) onto the chips, dump a lot of shredded cheese on top, spread everything around and microwave for 2 minutes. Then add a dollop of sour cream and/or a sliced avocado. I'm allergic to salsa, chilis, and tomatoes, so I don't bother with pico de gallo, but that's an option if you want. The chips, beans, and cheese are all fairly high salt.

Date: 2014-09-19 03:03 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Cheese, especially feta. In addition to potato chips, salt goes really well on potato _skins_. Many people put seasoned salt on avocado.


And there are always margaritas.

Date: 2014-09-19 03:33 am (UTC)
realpestilence: m&s by lit_gal (Default)
From: [personal profile] realpestilence
Canned beans are often high in sodium. I'd suggest not draining them, or at least not rinsing them if you can, too. They can be added to soups, dips, salads, salsas, casseroles, or eaten as is, and come in a nice variety.

Date: 2014-09-19 05:59 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Smoked salt is a nice change from unflavored salt for me.

I really like salt on tomatoes, with the sourdough bread, marinated mozzarella cheese balls, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, olives, and salami combination.

Try this ...

Date: 2014-09-19 08:21 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I recommend gourmet salts. They have different flavors, based on different minerals in them. This may help keep you from getting bored or overloading on certain trace elements.

Table salt is the purest and has the most salt flavor.

Sea salt is among the best balanced, with a milder and more complex flavor. It comes in different varieties and textures too. I love sel gris and fleur de sel.

Rock or mined salts come from earth deposits and tend to have a very high mineral content. Himalayan and Australian pink salts are favorites of mine.

Smoked salts are mellower with a savory note. Applewood is kind of sweet; hickory is darker.

Also, if you're making soup, you can load in the salt if you put potatoes in it. Potato will soak up a LOT of salt without tasting very salty. That's why people say to put a potato in the soup if you spill too much salt in.

Date: 2014-09-19 09:15 am (UTC)
dragonsally: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dragonsally
Sports drinks - will help to keep your blood volume up as well (I have POTS too). Honestly, I've just got used to adding salt to things. I find I crave it now.

Date: 2014-09-19 10:44 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Half a fig with some blue cheese propped against it. (food -- fig and cheese)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
except for in specific contexts where I'm used to it (e.g. soy sauce with sushi, olives, etc.).

I wonder if that's an angle to pursue? I mean, maybe you'll have an easier time with foods where strong saltiness is part of the point, than ones which will taste to you like "familiar foods but with way too much salt".

If you're okay with being pesco-vegetarian, then anchovies were the first example that came to my mind.

Or tinned fish in brine generally -- one of my default low-spoon meals is a salad made from a tin of tuna or salmon, a tin of beans, some chopped onion, salad leaves if I've got any, a bit of olive oil and a bit of vinegar.

Date: 2014-09-19 03:36 pm (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
things that I can handle as being very salty: tapenade, anchovies, tomato paste, miso, (vegemite), cup-a-soup, commercial stock (can be used to 'poach' vegies in, and then drink that and eat the vegies), salad dressings, seaweed snacks (I find the best seaweed snacks are at our local Korean store, but the Japanese one has some good ones as well), all sorts of pickles (we have on average 6 types in the fridge - possibly including but not limited to beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, capers, olives, and giardiniera).

other thoughts: salted caramel? baking with bicarb soda? salt tablets? two minute noodles? dukkah made with extra salt? (we put this on everything).

I've acquired a chopped greens recipe that I'm planning on making good use of over the summer, that takes ~1 generous tsp of salt, 1/4 cup of oil, and 2-4 cups of chopped greens (whatever you can get. We mostly do kai lan or bok choy, but the book we got it from basically listed every type of leafy greens they could think of). Mix oil and salt, drop greens in a bit at a time, mash around. This counts as 'cooking' the green, so it is supposedly easier to then digest. Plus, salty.

(and I have in the past resorted to drinking salted water - for some reason I can tolerate this when I can't tolerate salted foods)

Date: 2014-09-19 03:46 pm (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
also, roast potatoes. If you can face chopping them up, you get more salt per volume of potato. I cheat and buy tiny potatoes. Then roll them around in oil and salt, and roast. Then I snack on them through the day.

Also, this sometimes leads to salty, slightly potato flavoured, oil. Which I then use for cooking fried eggs.

ooh, and one last recipe/option: if you cook rice using the reduction method, or polenta or any of those kinds of things where you start with a starchy thing and some water, and end up with a gluggy thing at the end: substitute pickling brine for some amount of the water/stock/other liquid. I use olive brine when cooking polenta, at about a 1/4 cup per 2-3 cups of water. Makes for a good salty base for things (which in our household can mean that the polenta gets poured into a set of bowls, and then everyone tops it with a variety of pickles plus grated cheese).

Can you tell I've spent a lot of time thinking about getting salt in my diet? I don't have low blood pressure/dizzy spells any more. But one of my kids has just manifested with the same problem, so I'm back to trying to make sure there is salt in the diet (he dances or skates 5 days a week, and has just hit puberty. And summer is just around the corner).

Date: 2014-09-23 07:23 pm (UTC)
jadelennox: Amelia Pond devouring custard (doctor who: eating amelia)
From: [personal profile] jadelennox
I like white rice with umeboshi plums, which are pickled in salt. (They are cheaper in actual Asian markets than they are if you can get them in the -- ahem -- ethnic aisle of a grocery store, which around here is Japanese/Latin American/English/Jewish.) I just cook up the sushi rice and mix up a single plum in the bowl of rice. Incredibly easy.

sauerkraut is a good salt-pickled thing. if you want to go meatless, throw it on a roll with some sautéed tofu and Russian dressing, and instant Rueben. Of course if you are willing to eat meat then fry it in a pan with some salami and you have a salt party.

isn't diet soda very high in sodium? somebody else s throw it uggested Gatorade, which would be better I am sure, but if you like soda and dislike Gatorade.

I assume you have already looked at the list of foods to avoid if you have hypertension in order to take their advice in reverse, but here are a few:


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