Low Sodium, Low Carb Ideas for Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

Submitted by deb on Mon, 07/04/2011 – 00:04

People with Hypokalemic periodic paralysis, and some Andersen-Tawil Syndrome patients, need to eat a diet low in carbohydrates and sodium, since both carbohydrates and sodium trigger attacks. But how do you do it? Here are handy tips on how to plan a diet that is reduced in sodium and carbohydrates.

Tips on Reducing Sodium

At Home

Substitute No-Salt at the table. While it’s not good on everything it’s fine on most foods. Use less salt in cooking. In most recipes salt can be reduced or omitted without compromising the flavor. Use more herbs and spices, particularly onion and garlic powder. Also, low-sodium bouillon can add extra flavor, as can wine, vinegar, lemon or lime juice. Get a good low-sodium cookbook, or search the Internet where you’ll find an abundance of low sodium recipes.

At the Grocer’s

Choose more fresh fruits and vegetables. Use fewer prepared foods – the less processing, the less sodium. Choose lower sodium prepared foods. Look for items labeled sodium free, low sodium, reduced sodium, unsalted, and no salt added. Read labels. Know how much sodium is in each serving. If the label says 150 mg sodium per serving and you eat two servings, you’re consuming twice as much. Avoid “salty” foods, anything brined, cured, marinated, pickled or smoked.

When Eating Out

Order low-sodium foods. Choose grilled or roasted entrees and items without sauces. Avoid soy sauce, which is extremely salty. Avoid soups. Most are loaded with sodium and can exceed 1,000 mg per serving. Use oil and vinegar on salads. Stay away from creamy dressings. Avoid salads made with mayonnaise, like potato salad and coleslaw. Request that condiments be served on the side. Then you can control the amount you use. Ask that no salt be added to your entree. Many restaurants will accommodate your dietary restrictions.

Low Sodium Products

No-Salt is a palatable potassium-based salt substitute. Garden of Eatin’ makes unsalted corn chips. “Kettle” makes unsalted potato chips. Heinz makes really good salt-substituted ketchup. StarKist offers lower sodium tuna (still too salty for some). Old Bay Seasoning comes in a low sodium (but not salt free) version. Friendship brand cottage cheese comes in an unsalted version. Hunts, Del Monte, Eden Organic and many others make unsalted canned tomatoes. Salt free or lower sodium chicken broths are readily available. Herb-ox makes a sodium free granulated beef bouillon. It comes in a small red jar or small red box. Eden Organic also makes salt free canned beans. Mrs Dash seasonings are unsalted. Helluva Good makes a low sodium cheddar cheese that’s pretty good and has almost no sodium (5 mg). Available at Wegmans grocery and some Walmart Stores. A lot of Swiss cheeses, and some fresh mozzarellas, are also very low in sodium (this varies so check the label). Out West Tillamook has a very low sodium cheddar, but it difficult to find and expensive.

Sources for Low Sodium Foods, Diet and Cookbooks (Not an endorsement of these companies, included FYI only) Healthy Heart Market – Heart Wise Foods –  Low Salt Foods –  Low Sodium Foods Directory –

Meal or Snack Ideas

Homemade guacamole (avocado, lime juice, and your choice of minced onion, garlic, cilantro and/or tomato) with unsalted corn chips. Low/no salt cottage cheese with canned fruit (packed in water or fruit juice, NOT syrup). You can add Reddi Whip for a bit of extra sweetness; since it’s fluffy, it incorporates sweetness to the cottage cheese while adding less than 1g of sugar. Fajitas on corn tortillas (most corn tortillas are very low salt or salt free). Season or marinate chicken or beef strips, using no salt. Grill or broil the meat. Also grill or broil a sliced green pepper and sliced onion. Serve on corn tortillas with sour cream (most brands are salt free), and/or homemade unsalted guacamole or homemade unsalted salsa. Protein heavy stir fry: make a stir fry using lots of beef, chicken or pork, and lots of cashews or peanuts. Add as many veggies as you like. Flavor with a sliced onion, minced garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and sometimes a bit of orange juice. If you can tolerate it, serve with brown rice or other whole-grain Asian noodle.

Whey-To-Go makes vanilla flavored protein powder that is free of sugar AND artificial sweeteners. Add to smoothies or whatever you like. When making a smoothie add protein powder to slow digestion. Unsalted corn chips dipped in unsalted salt cottage cheese mixed with a bit of salsa. Low salt/carb, high protein chili: use ground turkey or beef, unsalted canned beans and unsalted canned tomatoes. Most chili powders do not contain salt. Go heavy on the meat and beans and light on the tomatoes so that it’s protein dense. Sliced carrots, celery or apples with natural (salt and sugar free) peanut butter.

Coconut Dream brand ice cream is made with coconut milk instead of dairy and sweetened with agave syrup. The mint chip flavor is to die for. It’s much lower on the glycemic index than regular ice cream, so a spoonful or two is good for an occasional sweet fix.

Buy bags of 12 frozen salmon filets from the freezer section. They’re not as delicious as fresh, but are easier and cheaper. Microwave a filet for three minutes in its wrapper, squeeze lemon juice and a spoonful of mayonnaise or sour cream on top. Yum. If you can handle brown rice, serve the salmon with rice and veggies. Once a week marinate a club pack of chicken breasts in salt-free lemon pepper or other seasoning, then broil. It’s a quick boost of protein that is good by itself, with veggies, in fajitas, or in any number of other ways.

Make your own trail mix with unsalted nuts and a small amount of raisins or dried cranberries and unsweetened banana chips. Toasted coconut is good in this too. Make yours to suit your tastes and sensitivities.

Make bulgur wheat or brown rice for a starch at meals- Cook chopped onion in a little olive oil until it’s almost transparent and then add the specified amount of liquid (usually low-fat/salt chicken broth) and the bulgur/rice and cook the required amount of time. Add a little minced parsley and pepper and voila! It’s really yummy and is great with sauteed chicken breast. Add a veggie and you have a meal. The protein and veggies servings should be generous, the starch serving small.

Apple-Stuffed Pork Chops

Use any combination of fruits you like (i.e., prunes, raisins, dried apricots). Same with apple… any apple you like. T. = Tablespoon t. = teaspoon 2 ½ T. Red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon, but can use a sweet wine such as port) 1 cup diced peeled apple 1/3 cup chopped fruit 2 T. Chopped walnuts (or pistachios) 1 T. Chopped fresh thyme or 1 t. dried thyme 1 t. brown sugar 4 lean bone-in or boneless pork chops (about ¾ inch thick–6 ounces each) Pinch salt ½ t. black pepper Cooking spray 1 ½ T. flour 7 oz. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth Combine 1 T wine, apple, fruit, nuts, thyme, and brown sugar. Stir well.

Cut a horizontal slit into pork chop to form a pocket. Stuff about ¼ cup apple mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle outside of chop with pepper. Place stuffed chops in baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes, or until done. When chops are done, remove from oven and cover with foil. In a small saucepan, combine pinch of salt with flour. Over low heat, while stirring with a whisk, gradually add the remaining 1 ½ T. wine and the broth to the flour mixture, and 2 T. meat juices from baking dish. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve sauce over each chop.

Protein Cookies

(By Lynn Salvadore) 2 sticks (230g) of butter, softened 2 t. vavilla extract (real vanilla) 2 T. brown sugar 2 T. crunchy peanut butter (soynut butter if you have allergies) Beat for two minutes, then add: 2 eggs Beat for two more minutes, then add: 3 scant cups rolled oats (any type) 1 cup whey protein powder (WalMart in the vitamin section. I use vanilla flavoured) 1 t. baking soda Dash of salt 1 t. cimmamon Beat for two minutes, then stir in: 1⁄3 cup golden raisins Drop by teaspoon full and bake at 350° F (180° C) for 5 minutes. Note: they won’t look done, but they are. Suitable for freezing. They are great to carry with you in a ziplock bag so you have something to snack on every two hours. Thank you HKPP List members.