Dessert may be your favorite part of dinner, but if you're not careful it could really increase your sodium intake. This means that if you're watching your sodium, sweet fare filled with baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk and salt are probably off limits. Unfortunately, that's nearly every boxed mix that results in a cake, cookie, pudding or sweet bread.
Of course, this doesn't mean you have to skip dessert. Creamy rice pudding can be served cold or hot, and is quite tasty. It uses a simple mix of ingredients -- rice, milk, nutmeg, vanilla extract and sugar -- and is much lower in sodium than pre-packaged pudding mixes.
Plus, you could always go the extra mile to make a dessert you really crave. Just alter a few ingredients and omit the salt altogether. Start by asking your local compounding pharmacist to whip up a batch of sodium-free baking powder. It sounds like a wacky request, but it's common practice for people on low-sodium diets. The concoction of tartaric acid, potassium bitartrate, bicarbonate and cornstarch bypasses the sodium in baking powder but still has the same effect in baked goods.
While few foods are truly sodium free, many contain negligible amounts of the element. Knowing which ones can make your dinner plate a lot safer.
- American Heart Association. "Sodium (Salt or Sodium Chloride)." (Oct. 28, 2010) AmericanHeart.org. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4708
- Anderson, J. "Sodium in the Diet." (Oct. 26, 2010) ColoState.edu. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09354.html
- Center for the Science in the Public Interest. "Salt: The Forgotten Killer." (Oct. 26, 2010) Cspinet.org. http://www.cspinet.org/salt/
- Cleveland.com. "FDA Should Regulate Amount of Salt Hidden in Food Products, Health Experts Say." April 20, 2010. (Oct. 28, 2010) Cleveland.com. http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2010/04/fda_should_regulate_amount_of.html
- Conis, Elena. "The Hidden Salt in Chicken." June 22, 2009. (Oct. 26, 2010) LAtimes.com. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/22/health/he-nutrition22
- Consumer Reports. "Avoiding Added Sodium in Uncooked Chicken?" (Oct. 26, 2010) ConsumerReports.org. http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/2010/05/avoiding-added-sodium-in-chicken-reducing-your-sodium-intake-preventing-high-blood-pressure.html
- Health Valley Organic. "No Salt Added Organic Lentil Soup." (Oct. 28, 2010) HealthValley.com. http://www.healthvalley.com/products.php
- Healthy Eating Club. "Sodium." (Oct. 26, 2010) HealthyEatingClub.org. http://www.healthyeatingclub.org/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5a.html
- Hurley, Jayne. "Soups: The Middle Ground." December 1997. (Oct. 26, 2010) http://www.cspinet.org/nah/decsoup.htm
- Larsen, Joanne. "Ask the Dietitian." (Oct. 28, 2010) http://www.dietitian.com/salt.html
- Low Sodium Living. "Creamy Rice Pudding." (Oct. 28, 2010) LowSodiumLiving.com. http://www.lowsodiumliving.com/recipes/recipe.php?item_id=247
- Mayo Clinic. "Sodium: How to Tame Your Salt Habit Now." (Oct. 28, 2010) MayoClinic.com. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/NU00284
- New York Seafood Council. "Seafood and Nutrition." (Oct. 28, 2010) NYseafood.com. http://www.nyseafood.org/nutrition/health-3.asp
- Produce for Better Health Foundation. "Best of: Sodium." (Oct. 26, 2010) http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=131
- Salt, Alec. "Sodium Content of Common Foods." (Oct. 28, 2010) Wustl.edu. http://oto2.wustl.edu/men/sodium.htm
- Self. "Nutrition Facts: Catsup." (Oct. 28, 2010). Self.com. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/3015/2
- Self. "Nutrition Facts: Oscar Mayer Chicken Breast." (Oct. 26, 2010) Self.com. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sausages-and-luncheon-meats/1408/2
- Self. "Nutrition Facts: Oscar Mayer Ham." (Oct. 26, 2010) Self.com. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sausages-and-luncheon-meats/1415/2
- Self. "Soy Sauce." (Oct. 26, 2010) Self.com. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4466/2
- Self. "Nutrition Facts: Turkey Roast." (Oct. 26, 2010) Self.com. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/924/2
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension. "Sodium Content of Your Food." (Nov. 3, 2010) Maine.edu. http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/PDFpubs/4059.pdf
- USDA. "USDA national Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17." (Nov. 3, 2010) USDA.gov. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR17/wtrank/sr17a307.pdf
- WebMD. "Salt Shockers Slideshow: High Sodium Surprises." (Oct. 28, 2010) WebMD.com. http://www.webmd.com/diet/slideshow-salt-shockers
HowStuffWorks looks at the composition of coconut oil and whether it has any health benefits.