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Old 16-11-2012, 08:10   #1
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Low-sodium diet

I have sailed long distance before and provisioning was never a problem, starting with fresh foods and ending with canned, freeze-dried – fully loaded with sodium.
However, I am now on a low-salt/sodium diet, and would like to know if there are others out there in the same situation and how they are provisioning and preparing their meals on long passages, when you don’t have access to the fresh stuff and need to prepare your own. A search here turned out empty, so I would love to hear your suggestions.
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Old 16-11-2012, 08:33   #2
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Re: Low-sodium diet

mmmmm. good.
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Old 16-11-2012, 10:02   #3
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Re: Low-sodium diet

I too had to change to a low sodium diet... if you can find foods out there (such as the above mentioned soup) they jack the price up 2 or 3x to leave the salt out!

My solution was to start canning my own. I made batches of chili, soup, canned veggies, canned chicken and hamburger, even ghee made from unsalted butter.

The jars are pretty tough for traveling and you can find ways to help stop them from breaking... then you can still use regular salted foods carefully as supplemental intake.

Another benefit of this is you can can up your own "heat and serve" meals for when you need them. If there are just two of you, half pints of fruits and veggies are perfect for each meal... full pints for the main course. you can put up 2 weeks of lunch/dinners in a 1'x2'x2' area.... powdered milk and shredded wheat (low sodium) for breakfast and you are set!
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Old 16-11-2012, 10:46   #4
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Re: Low-sodium diet

Thanks Tmiller - canning - I never though of that - good idea, and I am sure it tastes a lot better that the commercial stuff, with a bit of experimenting.
I will look up the books and the pressure cooker.

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Old 16-11-2012, 11:43   #5
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Re: Low-sodium diet

Back in the olden days, before I had a boat with refrigeration we would sometimes go for months with very little fresh food. In the south Bahamas very little was available. We got by with lots of dried foods like the standard beans (but many varieties: black, pinto, black-eye) and rice but also lentils, split speas. Lots more but I think you get the idea.

Dried onions would last for months, also garlic, potatoes, cabbage did pretty well.

Starting with this stock of ingredients and a few canned things you can cook up a lot of stuff. If you have canned meats or veggies with salt, add those to a larger pot of rice, lentils, etc that have no salt to end up with a final dish that is overall low sodium.
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Old 17-11-2012, 13:41   #6
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Re: Low-sodium diet

Beware the high sodium content of some local waters. In the Bahamas, salt water intrusion in wells is a growing problem and some RO and de-sal systems are suspect. Buy no-salt canned goods and packaged products. Read labels. Almost everything in the supermarket is over-salted, even bread. Cook from scratch where possible. Especially avoid combining several convenience foods to make a new recipe. Nephrologists recommend against using supermarket salt substitutes. Instead, experiment with pure spices and herbs to create your own flavors. Too, keep in mind that MSG is sodium. Sea salt may contain more minerals but it's still salt. So is kosher salt. Good luck. You can do this!
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Old 19-11-2012, 07:40   #7
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Re: Low-sodium diet

Thank you for these hints Janet.
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Old 22-11-2012, 02:05   #8
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Re: Low-sodium diet

I have found that if I rinse normal canned vegetables (drain, refill with water and soak 10 mins, then drain again) that they don't taste as salty. I do the same for corned beef, chicken, tuna etc. I would second the can your own though as then you will know how much salt you are taking in.
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Old 22-11-2012, 18:33   #9
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Re: Low-sodium diet

KDH - I think that even if you wash, reheat and what not you may not taste the salt, but the sodium is still there in the food.

The best bet is to do home canning and supplement with low sodium commercial foods now appearing in supermarket shelves.

Thank you all for the replies.
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Old 22-11-2012, 18:41   #10
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Re: Low-sodium diet

* No need to eat from cans. Mine mostly just rust away. As mentioned above many reasonable 'fresh' foods keep well ... plus pasta, rice, flour, beans, etc. You can eat well after arriving in whatever paradise you have pointed at.

* Be choosy about the watermaker you install. Some, like this crummy Little Wonder, make barely legal water (500 ppm TDS). That is too much salt for anyone with such health issues. Others, like my beloved Spectra on the other boat, make nice healthy water (50-70 ppm TDS).
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Old 22-11-2012, 19:09   #11
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Re: Low-sodium diet

Daddle - Staples such as pasta, rice, beans, etc are good and last for ever, but on long passages the meal is the highlight of the day and it needs to be attractive, and these foods need "the cherry on top". I have been up to 32 days on passage, in the last few days it was hard to find/prepare something that would be appetizing.
Good point about the watermaker - I never thought that for some units the product water could be drinkable but still high on sodium. Thanks.
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Old 22-11-2012, 19:55   #12
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Re: Low-sodium diet

You need to re set the thinking. Taking only foods that keep well . . . . . .

pasta ( cooked without salt) + can chopped tomatoes (salt in the can won't matter because there is no other salt in the dish) + any combination of the following
onion, dried mushroom, olives rinsed to remove the salt, garlic, dried chili, ginger, all kinds of dried spices, salami, jerky, dried peas, all kinds of canned vegetables rinsed to remove the salt, carrot, all kinds of canned fish rinsed if salty, grated cheese, all kinds of rinsed pickled vegetables . . . . . and on it goes.

If you have a freezer, make your own salt free stocks and sauces.
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Old 22-11-2012, 21:34   #13
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Re: Low-sodium diet

I would have another chat to the DR and let him/her know if you are going to be sailing to the tropics. You may need to dose your soduim levels back up. I am no expert, but in the tropics one sweats a lot more and needs to replace salt.
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Old 23-11-2012, 01:46   #14
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Re: Low-sodium diet

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
KDH - I think that even if you wash, reheat and what not you may not taste the salt, but the sodium is still there in the food.

The best bet is to do home canning and supplement with low sodium commercial foods now appearing in supermarket shelves.

Thank you all for the replies.
I meant that it would reduce the sodium not remove it entirely. I never knew just how much it reduced the sodium so I googled it. Apparently just under running water and then draining reduces the sodium by 41%. Reducing Sodium in Canned Beans ? Easier Than 1-2-3
Several of the articles mentioned that the salt in canning is to help keep the texture of the food firmer as well so homecanned goods like fresh beans will probably not be as firm. I'm sure you're aware that reduced sodium canned goods don't fall into the category of low sodium. Found this handy chart http://www.idph.state.ia.us/nutritio..._potassium.pdf in case anyone is interested in the different categories.

In regards to watermakers you will also need to be aware of how the water you take on the boat is made. While in the BVIs the water in Tortola, at Saba Rock and I suspect some of the other islands is made by reverse osmosis plants and a lot of island natural wells will have some level of salt intrusion.
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Old 23-11-2012, 04:42   #15
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Re: Low-sodium diet

You can get the same result by rinsing all kinds of things. I have been on a low sodium diet for 8 years and it doesn't bother me a single bit. I rinse canned tuna, ham and corned beef and all finish up just fine.
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