Avoid Eating Canned Food If You Have These Medical Conditions

You probably know to skip the saltshaker at dinner when lowering your sodium intake, but what about foods that already contain sodium? According to the American Heart Association, celery, beets, and milk have natural sodium within them, but some foods, like canned soups, meats, ravioli, pasta, and vegetables, have sodium added to make them more flavorful, enhance the food's natural texture, or bring out the juiciness. 

Some sodium is necessary for your body to function correctly; however, the University of California San Francisco Health states that the average person only needs about a quarter teaspoon of salt to function, and the average American diet includes five or more teaspoons. Overeating sodium can increase your blood pressure and contribute to water retention, which can be dangerous for diseases like high blood pressure, kidney disease, and heart failure. Therefore, think twice about opening up that can of corn or chicken when you have these diseases.

Read on to learn more about how these diseases can be affected by the extra sodium in canned food and why a diet with less sodium is essential to living longer.

Eat a low-sodium diet with high blood pressure

When you hit your doctor's office, they slap a cuff on your arm and begin pumping it up. While this might seem monotonous, taking your blood pressure is essential to your medical journey. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blood pressure can vary constantly; however, your provider wants your blood pressure numbers to be under 120/80 mmHg. Anything higher might indicate that you have high blood pressure or are at risk for it, which puts you at a higher risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.

High blood pressure or hypertension comes in different stages, but essentially, it means there is consistently too much force against the walls of your arteries. All that force makes your heart have to work harder to push blood through the vessels, per the Mayo Clinic. The cause of high blood pressure can take many paths. Sometimes, it develops as your body ages, and plaque makes the vessels narrower. Some individuals might have high blood pressure secondary to a condition like blood vessel problems, drug use, kidney disease, and sleep apnea.

Hypertension is known as a silent killer because it doesn't exhibit any symptoms unless your pressure is dangerously high. However, a few standard things to watch out for include shortness of breath, headaches, and nosebleeds. Lifestyle changes like a low-salt diet and exercise are recommended, along with medication, if needed. Since salt increases your blood pressure, lowering your intake can help to keep your numbers down.

Avoid salty food with kidney disease

Getting placed on a low-sodium diet is part of the treatment of chronic kidney disease, which can take many different canned favorites off the menu. According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), chronic kidney disease results from kidney damage, which inhibits their ability to function correctly, and about two-thirds of the cases of chronic kidney disease result from diabetes and high blood pressure.

NKF notes that 37 million adults have kidney disease in America, and symptoms to watch out for include nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, swelling of feet, high blood pressure, and mental cloudiness. Mayo Clinic states that these symptoms could mean that waste has built up in the blood and the balance of your electrolytes has gone haywire, so your body carries more fluid.

Diet is vital to managing chronic kidney disease and avoiding progression into kidney failure, per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The first step to treatment is cutting salt out of your diet. NIDDK recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Buying fresh foods and avoiding canned or packaged food is recommended, as well as looking for low-sodium options if pre-packaged food is needed. They also recommend bulking up on heart-healthy foods and eating smaller portions of protein to avoid waste buildup. Medications to relieve swelling and reduce blood pressure might also be necessary.

Stay away from salt if you have heart failure

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), heart failure is also called congestive heart failure and affects more than 6 million adults in the U.S. This disorder takes hold when your heart doesn't function properly and has trouble getting oxygenated blood to all the areas of your body. The NHLBI notes that congestive heart failure can affect both the left and right sides of the heart and comes from a range of medical conditions. For example, coronary heart disease or high blood pressure can lead to heart damage and eventual heart failure. The lack of oxygen leads to tiredness, weakness, and shortness of breath, according to the American Heart Association

Congestive heart failure doesn't have a cure, but there are things you can do to manage your symptoms and reduce the load on your heart. Medline Plus states that medication and diet changes are typically the first line of defense against this condition. It's recommended to eat less sodium, stop smoking, and incorporate stress management into your life. Getting active can also help your body to get rid of excess fluid, as long as you follow your doctor's stipulations. Surgery might also be necessary, like installing a mechanical heart pump or pacemaker.