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What is a Heart-Healthy Diet?

One key to healthy eating is choosing foods lower in salt and sodium. Most Americans consume more salt than they need. The current recommendation is to consume less than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams[mg] ) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day, including salt used in cooking and at the table. For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise eating less salt and sodium, as recent research has shown that people consuming diets of 1,500 mg of sodium had even better blood pressure lowering benefits. These lower-sodium diets also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work better.

Many people who are watching their blood pressure or cholesterol intake are constantly on the hunt for some great tasting, pre-prepared low sodium meals for a quick and easy lunch or dinner option. Let's face it. If you happen to have a large family, keeping your pantry stocked with only low sodium choices may be nearly impossible. When you read the labels of your popular grocery store products, almost anything that comes in a box, can, or bottle is loaded with salt. Frozen low sodium meals are becoming more and more popular as a heart-healthy alternative without sacrificing great taste.

The biggest selling canned soup in the country is probably Campbell's. Do you have any idea how much sodium is in a single serving? It will shock you! How can a simple can of chicken noodle soup be so bad for you? Isn't this supposed to help cure the common cold? How bad can it be? And diet soda is even worse. You might be under the impression that you are selecting a healthier alternative by choosing the "one-calorie" brand, but most diet drinks contain nearly 30 grams of sodium as compared to 15 grams in the regular version.

All of this label reading and sodium counting can lead to frustration and stress. If you are suffering from hypertension, this rather defeats the purpose of trying to restrict your diet to low sodium meals. Stress isn't good for your health either. Luckily, we now have many providers of frozen low sodium meals that taste great and are easy to prepare. MagicKitchen.com, for example, is very conscious about the levels of sodium that they place in their dinner choices while also focusing on making them well-flavored for the health conscious consumer.