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Healthy Sodium Intake for Seniors

Nutrition among seniors is a very important part of the care they receive at a skilled nursing facility like Heritage Health employs a certified dietary team that ensures the nutritional value of food provided meets the individual needs of each senior in our care. Nutrition for the senior population is different than what is needed for other age groups. As our bodies change with age, the way we process food also changes.

Sodium and salt often get a bad rap in the world of nutrition. A common misunderstanding is that they are the same thing, which is untrue. Sodium is a mineral that occurs naturally in foods or can be added during the manufacturing process. Table salt is a combination of sodium and chloride (40% sodium and 60% chloride) and accounts for 90% of the sodium we consume.

The Food & Nutrition Board recommends 1,300 milligrams as an "adequate intake" of sodium each day for persons age 51-70. After age 70, the recommendation is slightly lower at 1,200 milligrams a day. One teaspoon of salt contains over 2,300 mg of sodium, so this can be a very difficult dietary standard to maintain. However, having a healthy intake of sodium is important for all of us, and especially seniors.

For seniors, adjusting their diet to ensure they receive the appropriate amount of sodium is an important part of the dietary care they receive in a skilled nursing facility. The certified dietary team at Heritage Health creates menus and provides food options that address the myriad of different dietary needs seniors experience. The American Heart Association cautions that too much sodium can have adverse effects on our heart and lead to heart disease and high blood pressure. Low-sodium/heart-healthy meals are part of the culinary offerings for seniors who may have these concerns. Additionally, kidney function decreases with age, which means seniors might have a harder time removing excess sodium from their bodies. For senior residents with renal failure, we have special diets in place to ensure their dietary intake is appropriate for their needs.

The individual dietary concerns of each resident are considered for every meal they consume, so they receive all the nutritional support their bodies need to be as healthy as possible. Our dietitians work with the nursing care team, pharmacists and other staff members to ensure that all pieces of a resident's care plan are working together to provide optimal health and wellness.Learn more by visiting our website at

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Heritage Operations Group is proud to provide the senior population in Illinois with rehabilitative therapy services, skilled nursing care, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, assisted and supportive living, independent living and pharmacy services.


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