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Old 09-07-2004, 11:30 AM
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Combination of low fat & salt free diet

I think this is probably the best place to ask this. My mom has been on a very low salt diet for awhile and is adjusting to it quite well, but now the doctor has told her she must also cut the fat out of her diet. I'm very familiair with the no fat diet and somewhat with the no salt diet. Luckily we only have to stop using salt at the table and in cooking, but not worry about what is in prepared foods, but she must even do that. She is really having a problem with ...well this is low fat, but look at the sodium in it or this is low or no sodium, but look at the fat in it. It seems if you prepare foods one way the other way looses out. She can't make her own soups with canned broth because of the sodium in canned broth and if she makes her own broth she has to defat it. I've tried tio give her some guide lines,but she is having a hard time adjusting to both of the problems. There are low fat foods and low sodium foods, but one or the other is there in a big amount. So...does anyone have any suggestions I can give her? She is up in age which is difficult any way for her to change her cooking methods now. She is a big three meal a day eater and always fried, gravies and saved every drop of bacon grease to put in everything; all that bad stuff that did taste good.

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Old 09-09-2004, 11:57 AM
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You're so right about the difficulty of combining these two diet plans... The doctor is foolish to think your mom can do it alone!


What would be best is if she chould be referred to a nutritionist who will give her the best recipes and brands to look for.

You might even find that ordering "convienience" foods over the internet wioll be your best bet. Buying low fat/ low sodium foods off the grocer's shelf is nearly impossible.

There's no getting away from the fact that foods are going to start tasting different, and it's going to be an adjustment... Also, she's going to have to do the cooking from scratch more often than not.

The American Heart Assiciation website might offer some recipes to get you started. www.americanheart.org

How old is your mom? Are you able to do some cooking for her and she can re-heat things to start off?

Don't forget salt substitutes, and butter substitutes for flavor.. also wines and sherries add a lot of flavor without sodium or fat.. even if you"ve never cooked with them before.. ( the alcohol cooks off with heat) ...

You'll find informationon healthy diets in the health forums..

Good luck with this... I know it's not easy!!
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Old 09-09-2004, 03:03 PM
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Thanks for some thoughts on helping with the combination; she is 71 years old, lives by herself, and doesn't drive and of course on a limited income. She lives 60 miles from me, my sister lives 30 miles from her and my brother lives in Germany. So cooking for her isn't an option. She never did much of anything for herslf so to suddenly be by herself (dad died 4 years ago) has been a shock to her. She won't question the doctor about anything and until recently wouldn't even go to a doctor. She thinks she's still 20 and do what she did back then as ar as eating and just going on every day. I've tried to explain to her that now things are known about diets that wasn't even thought of back then, but to get her to listen... well no use going into that; I think you probably get the idea. I'm bringing her up to my place for a week to try and show her how she can substitute some things and just learn not to eat some things any longer.

Her blood pressure is way up there and the "doctor" she goes to refuses (according to her) to put her on a blood pressure pill. She probably wouldn't take it anyway. He has her on a water pill, but that isn't bringing it down to a safe level. And even that
she skips all the time because according to her it is too much trouble to have to run to the bathroom all the time. So I'm just
trying what I can and I've realized I can't make her do anything
she doesn't want to do. I've even gone so far as to tell her that
she is going to have a stroke and may end up living in a nursing
home ( shock therapy hasn't worked either). Well I've gone on
long enough, but thanks again and I'll look into your suggestions. Thanks again!


Last edited by cat lover; 09-09-2004 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 09-10-2004, 01:13 AM
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COMBINATION OF LOW FAT & SALT FREE DIET

Hi I am on the same diet of low salt and no fat or very little fat. To make soups I make my own stock then add fresh veggies or meat or fish. I use lots of different herbs for flavour and there are wonderful herbs to use, I also grow my own herbs. Rather make fresh food then buying packet foods its easier to control your salt intake, you will need a bit of salt but if you make your own meals with natural products like fresh veggies and fruits etc you can limit the amount of salt you use in these dishes, as everyone must have at least a little bit salt, you cannot cut out salt competely, please send me and email and I will be glad to give you more advice and help on this subject. For gravies once you have a good home made stock its easier to add things to it to make nice gravies.
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Old 09-10-2004, 05:25 AM
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Catlover - Don't nag her. She will have to come to her own conclusions and make her own adjustments. At 71, she may not want to make the adjustments and may be ready to "move on" to be with your father.

That said, if she asks you about it, it would help to have some recipes and hints available to help her out.

Using the no-salt Dash product instead of salt is very helpful. I have used them in the past, and they aren't too bad. Lemon juice is also good for adding a little "zap" in terms of flavor to foods.

In the diet section of groceries, there are many foods that are both low fat and low salt. That will be where she will find soups and so-called "convenience" foods.

The idea of going to a nutritionist is a good one.

There are some good cookbooks out - "The Calculating Cook" came out in the 70's and has recipes for low-salt / low fat foods. Jeanne Jones, the author, was a pioneer in the low salt / low fat cooking area. Here's a link to a 1999 article about her. She has written 25 or 30 cookbooks - all in the low fat / low salt combination area. I **really** recommend them! The book that came out in 1999 was a retro cookbook that lowered the fat and salt content in 50's and 60's foods - comfort foods like meatloaf! Cool!

Even though you live 60 miles away, you might be able to do things like make stocks for her to use. Freeze them in ice cube trays, then put the cubes in plastic bags. She can pull out 3 or 4 cubes to make small amount of soup for herself.

You might also be able to do a little "cooking by the month" for her. If you spend one day doing a bunch of cooking, then freeze the foods as meals in little plastic trays, you could take them to her and she would at least have some meals that are "right" for a month. There are a number of OAMC (once a month cooking) websites "out there." Just put "once a month cooking" into Google. You can get the idea, then adapt recipes to be "legal" for her. Even 60 miles away, this can be done for her.

But you can't make her eat them! So you might want to try a small amount first and see if it works. When I was really bad with my fibro, my dd (who lived 50 miles from me at the time) did that for me. She spent one day cooking a bunch of stuff, divided it into meals, froze them, brought it to me in several coolers and put them in my freezer for me. It was a life-saver for me! I didn't have to cook for a month, and that was enough for me to get past the worst of that flare. Now I keep some "instant" meals in the freezer "just in case."

I'm concerned that she isn't on a medication specifically for her hypertension. She may be on Dyazide, which is a diuretic that also has strong anti hypertension properties. It is not unusual for MDs to put people on that first, alone, to see what the response to it is. You can't "make" her take the pills, however. It is something she will have to come to grips with - and it may take some more time.

If your sister gets along well with her, is it possible for her to go to the doctor with her and find out exactly what is going on? If you both know what's happening, you can gently encourage your mom to do the "right" things. But if your only info is from her, she may just not be telling you everything, or she may not understand things herself.

The other option is for the three of you to get together and take out a good Long Term Care insurance policy on her in case she does have a stroke and ends up in a nursing home. Medicare does not pay for nursing home care. And, believe me, you do NOT want her in a Medicaid home!

We are all dealing with aging, whether our own or that of our parents or friends. And we need to have a firm grip on the realities of the situation! Even the unpleasant realities.

Cheerio!
Elizabeth

Last edited by ewriggs; 09-10-2004 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 09-10-2004, 07:49 PM
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http://www.dietsite.com/dt/diets/hea...atsaltdiet.asp


cat lover.. I found this link.. It has a chart that gives a very good basic reference as to what to look for and what to avoid on a olw salt/low fat diet plan. The way it was organized really helped me visualiy organize my thoughts to understand the diet concept better... Myabe it could help you explain to to your mom, or you could copy it and mail it to her...

Maybe it won't seem so gosh awful to her that way.

Check it out and let me know if you think it's helpful.
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Old 09-11-2004, 02:50 AM
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Lifestar, thanks for the link to the chart; that will help her if she chooses to follow it. She has a hard time remembering what you tell her, but with it in writing maybe she'll follow it.

ewriggs, thanks for all your suggestions also, my sister doesn't participate in helping at all; she has her own life thing going on according to her. You are right about not being able to make her follow it, and I think the moving on thing has crossed her mind. There are many underlaying problems associated with the whole situation.

Thanks for all your replies!!

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Old 09-11-2004, 08:44 AM
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I just posted a new thread: Weight Loss Resources on the Web

It includes WebMD, NIH, and AHA diet and nutrition pages which have numerous dietary resources in addition to weight loss diets.

I hope those who need nutritional help will find this helpful!

Cheerio!
Elizabeth
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