Low Sodium Chili With Ground Beef & Beans | Heart Healthy

This Low Sodium Chili with Beef and Kidney Beans is just the right recipe for you if you are seeking comfort food that doesn’t compromise your dietary needs. This recipe is heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly, and mouth-watering.

Low sodium chili
Low sodium chili

This hearty and delectable dish gives the classic chili a healthy spin, reducing the sodium content without losing any of the flavor. Packed with lean beef and kidney beans, it offers plenty of protein, while the mixture of fresh vegetables and spices infuses it with a richness that will make your tastebuds sing. This chili is not only satisfying but also aligns with a low-sodium diet, making it perfect for those who need to keep their salt intake in check.

What is a low sodium diet

A low-sodium diet is a meal plan that limits the daily intake of sodium, which primarily comes from salt. Sodium is essential to maintaining fluid balance in our body, but an excessive amount can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney problems. A low-sodium diet typically limits sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams (mg) a day, though this can vary depending on your doctor’s recommendation.

Doctors frequently prescribe low-sodium diets to treat or prevent certain medical conditions. These include high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and heart failure. Reducing sodium intake can help control high blood pressure and decrease fluid buildup in people with heart disease or kidney disease. If you’ve been prescribed a low-sodium diet, it’s crucial to follow it closely and discuss any questions or concerns with your healthcare provider.

Other low sodium recipes
Low sodium pizza with ricotta cheese and basil
Healthy and zesty quinoa salad with chickpeas
https://betterinhealth.com/red-lentil-pasta-salad-with-green-beans/
Healthy roasted potatoes and cauliflower
Vegetarian chili white bean
Spinach arugula salad – Low carb | heart healthy

How to Reduce Sodium Intake

Here are a few ways you can reduced your sodium intake:

  • Limit the use of table salt when cooking and remove the salt shaker from your table.
  • Use herbs, spices, vinegar, or lemon juice to flavor your food.
  • Opt for fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, which are naturally low in sodium.
  • Avoid processed and packaged foods, as they often contain high levels of sodium.
  • When eating out, request your dishes to be prepared without salt, and be mindful of hidden sodium in dressings, sauces, and breads.
  • Read food labels carefully to understand the sodium content and choose low-sodium alternatives when possible.
Low sodium chili - how to reduce sodium
How to reduce sodium intake

Benefits of a low sodium diet

A low sodium diet confers many benefits, some of which are:

  1. Lower Blood Pressure: Reducing sodium intake can help lower high blood pressure or prevent it from developing in the first place. This is particularly beneficial for people with hypertension or a family history of the condition.
  1. Heart Health: A low-sodium diet can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing strain on the blood vessels that lead to the heart. Over time, this can reduce the chances of developing atherosclerosis, heart failure, and other cardiovascular conditions.
  1. Kidney Health: The kidneys balance the body’s sodium levels. Too much sodium can overwork them and lead to kidney disease. A low-sodium diet supports the health of your kidneys by easing their workload.
  1. Reduced Risk of Stroke: A low-sodium diet can help people manage high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for stroke. Therefore, reducing sodium intake indirectly reduces the risk of stroke.
  1. Lower Risk of Stomach Cancer: Some studies have shown a connection between high-sodium diets and a greater risk of stomach cancer. Reducing your sodium intake could potentially lower this risk.
  1. Less Water Retention: Excess sodium can cause the body to retain water, leading to bloating and swelling. A low-sodium diet can alleviate these symptoms.
  1. Bone Health: High sodium intake is linked to calcium loss, which can lead to osteoporosis over time. By keeping your sodium intake in check, you may also protect your bone density.
low sodium chili - benefits of low sodium
Benefits of a low sodium diet

Why you will love this recipe

Apart from being low in sodium, this recipe also contains low amounts of total fat and moderate amounts of saturated fat, as well as cholesterol, making it a good choice for heart health. 

Each serving of this recipe contains 28 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fiber, and 32 grams of protein. This recipe is low in total carbohydrates and high in fiber and protein, making it a great choice for people with diabetes. Low carbs, high fiber, and protein will ensure that you remain full for longer periods of time while keeping your blood sugar levels stable.

Ingredients for low sodium chili with ground beef and beans

  • Meat: I have used extra-lean ground beef. This is my preferred choice as it is low in saturated fat and better for your heart health.
  • Vegetables and beans: jalapeno, onion, tomatoes, and kidney beans. I have used kidney bean but other bean like pinto beans or white beans work well too
  • Broth: Vegetable stock
  • Seasoning: chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper.
  • Toppings for your choice: Choose from a variety of toppings such as red onions, corn, crackers, avocado slices or guacamole, lime juice, shredded cheese, sour cream or greek yogurt. Make sure to pay attention to your portion choices and use low sodium and low fat alternatives whenever possible.

How to make low sodium chili with ground beef and beans

Here are the steps to make this simple and delicious low sodium chili:

  • Using a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pan, cook the beef on high heat for about 3–4 minutes. Keep stirring regularly to crumble the beef and ensure it browns evenly, and is no longer pink inside. If there’s any excess fat, feel free to drain it off.
  • Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the onion and jalapeno to the pan. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until the onion becomes tender.
  • Mix in all the other ingredients. Lower the heat and let it gently simmer, covered, for about 90 minutes, making sure to stir it from time to time. Add some water if needed to get the desired consistency. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
low sodium chili with toppings
Low sodium chili with toppings
Low sodium chili-recipe card

Low Sodium Chili With Beef And Kidney Beans | Heart Healthy

8f7236c9626d7dcca9cca39f75b7f03fArchana Singh, PhD
This Low Sodium Chili is made with extra-lean ground beef, kidney beans, onion, tomatoes, and seasoning. It is heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly. It is high in protein and fiber and low in salt, fat, and carbohydrates.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb extra lean beef
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno fresh, chopped
  • 1 can no salt added kidney beans 15.5oz can, undrained
  • 1 can no salt added stewed tomatoes 14.5oz, undrained
  • 3/4 cup no sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin ground
  • 1/2 tsp oregano dried, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper ground

Instructions
 

  • Using a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pan, cook the beef on high heat for about 3–4 minutes. Keep stirring regularly to crumble the beef and ensure it browns evenly, and is no longer pink inside. If there’s any excess fat, feel free to drain it off.
  • Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the onion and jalapeno to the pan. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until the onion becomes tender.
  • Mix in all the other ingredients. Lower the heat and let it gently simmer, covered, for about 90 minutes, making sure to stir it from time to time. Add some water if needed to get the desired consistency. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 32gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 249mgPotassium: 706mgFiber: 9gSugar: 7gPhosphorus: 384mg
Keyword Diabetes Friendly, Heart Healthy, Low Sodium
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How much sodium in a teaspoon of salt?

One teaspoon of table salt contains approximately 2,300 milligrams of sodium. It’s important to note that this is also the maximum amount of sodium that the American Heart Association recommends adults consume per day. It’s also equal to the amount set as the daily value on nutrition facts labels on packaged foods and drinks.

why is low sodium good for heart?

A low-sodium diet is beneficial for heart health because it helps to regulate blood pressure and prevent fluid buildup, both of which can place excess strain on the heart.

When you consume a lot of sodium, your body retains more water to balance out the high salt content in your system. This increase in fluid volume can lead to higher blood pressure because the additional fluid requires more effort for your heart to pump it through your blood vessels. Over time, consistently high blood pressure can weaken the heart muscle and potentially lead to heart disease, including conditions like heart failure.

Further, sodium can make your blood vessels less flexible and more prone to the buildup of fatty deposits (atherosclerosis), which can limit blood flow and potentially lead to heart attacks.

By maintaining a low-sodium diet, you’re helping to mitigate these risks, supporting healthier blood pressure levels, and promoting overall heart health

What foods cause heart disease?

There are several types of foods that, when consumed excessively, may contribute to the development of heart disease. These include:

Processed Meats: Processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli meats are often high in sodium and saturated fats, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

Trans Fats: Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart disease. They’re often found in fried foods, baked goods, and margarine.

Sugary Drinks: Drinks like soda and fruit juices with added sugars can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

High Sodium Foods: High levels of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. These foods often include canned soup, fast food, and certain types of bread and rolls.

Saturated Fats: Foods high in saturated fats, like red meat and full-fat dairy products, can raise your cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart disease.

Refined Carbohydrates and Sugars: Foods like white bread, pastries, and certain types of pasta are made from refined carbohydrates and can lead to weight gain and higher blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Remember, moderation is key. You don’t necessarily need to eliminate these foods from your diet entirely, but it’s important to limit your intake and balance them with healthier choices. Also, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking are important for heart health.

Archana Singh, PhD

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