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Nutrition Reflection on High Fiber and Low Sodium Diets for Patients

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Patients may go on a high fiber diet for a variety of reasons including to make bowel movements more frequent, to help manage diabetes and to lower cholesterol levels. The average adult recommended fiber intake is 25 to 30 grams per day (“Increasing Fiber Intake,” 2002-2018). The high fiber diet consists of a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Panera bread offers many options for people to comply with a high fiber diet as well as a low sodium diet. A few of the high fiber options include the broccoli cheddar soup that has 6 grams of fiber per serving and you can substitute the included chips with an apple that has 4 grams of fiber. You can also get the southwest chile lime ranch salad with chicken to go with the soup which adds 10 grams of fiber to the meal (“Panera Bread Nutrition,” 2018). Overall this would be a meal that contains 20 grams of fiber which is very close to the recommended daily amount and could very easily meet the 25 to 30 gram mark by adding in some nuts throughout the day. A general rule for high fiber diets would be to stick with whole grains and stay away from white bread. Whenever it is possible to substitute low fiber items like chips for fruit you should do so. Whole foods like grains, vegetables and unprocessed foods are always good high fiber options. Sometimes if you give patients a fresh fruit cup after dinner as a dessert they may be more inclined to eat it. If a person has been placed on a high fiber diet it may be helpful to add nuts or beans to a salad or meal they already enjoy so they will be more compelled to eat it. You can also remind patients why they are on the high fiber diet and how it will help them to be more comfortable.

The recommended sodium intake per day is 2,300 mg (“Lowering Salt,” 2010, May 18).. This is a lot less than what the average person is going to consume so when picking a low sodium diet it is important to pay close attention to foods being consumed. When patients are put on a low sodium diet it is usually to lower hypertension or to decrease edema. Panera has some good options for low sodium diets including the greek yogurt with mixed berries and granola which has 55 mg of sodium. The napa almond chicken salad sandwich on country rustic bread is also a good option because it has 340 mg of sodium. One more option on the low sodium diet would be the ancient grain and arugula with chicken salad which has 135 mg of sodium (“Panera Bread Nutrition,” 2018). It would be a good idea to substitute the dressing on the for a reduced fat balsamic vinaigrette because it is lower sodium. When you are planning a low sodium diet there are a few helpful guidelines to make it easier.

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For example, If there is a salt shaker on the table remove it so the patient is not tempted or instruct them to move it off the table in their house. Use ingredients that are fresh and tasty on their own without added salt or seasoning. It is very important to look at labels on a low sodium diet because even if you think something like a soup doesn’t taste salty, it could be loaded with sodium. To increase compliance with this specific diet it is helpful to season a meal with things besides salt. This could include red pepper, garlic, or onion. If someone enjoys eating nuts explain to them they can still eat them but just without the salt. It is also may be helpful to ask the patient what they enjoy eating and then see if you can find a low sodium version to make them more apt to eat it. Instead of having soda and juices that are high in sodium tell the patient they can have fruit infused water which is very refreshing and will quench their thirst just as well. The low sodium diet is more challenging than the high fiber diet because sodium hides in many different places. Even if the food doesn’t taste salty it may have a very high sodium content. This is true of chicken, bread and rice.

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