While the body requires a small amount of sodium in the diet to control blood pressure and blood volume, most people consume many times the sodium needed.  People with certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, kidney disease and heart problems, can benefit from a diet that is low in sodium.  In addition to directly reducing blood pressure, a lower sodium intake may also enhance the effectiveness of blood pressure medications and other non-drug treatments, such as weight loss.  Reducing sodium can also help to prevent the collection of fluid in the lower legs or abdomen.  A lower sodium intake has also been associated with other health benefits, including a reduced risk of dying from a stroke, reversal of heart enlargement, and a reduced risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis.

The terminology associated with salt reduction can be confusing. “Sodium free” means that there is a tiny amount of sodium in each serving. “Very low sodium” has 35 mg. or less in each serving. “Reduced sodium” means that the usual level of sodium is reduced by 25 percent.  And “Light or lite in sodium” means that the usual level of sodium is reduced by 50 percent.

Although it is difficult to abruptly cut back on the amount of sodium in the diet, most people find that they do not miss sodium if they cut back gradually. Salt is an acquired taste and taste buds can be retrained in less than two to three weeks!

Many residents, at the recommendation of their physician, or simply as a personal commitment to healthier eating, have made a conscious choice to lower their sodium consumption.  To support their efforts and provide health, delicious meals without sacrificing flavor, Plymouth Harbor’s culinary team uses fresh herbs, spice blends, citrus and flavored vinegars as tasty alternatives to the salt shaker.

In addition, we are happy to accommodate residents’ special requests. When you see a salt shaker icon next to an item on the Mayflower menu, it means that this item is available “salt-free.”  You’ll find this icon next to many entrees and side dishes.  To order salt-free, just check the “salt-free entrée” or “salt-free side dish” line on your menu.  When you specify “salt free”, you can be assured that absolutely no salt was added during the preparation of your selection.

Bon Appetit!