• Erin Akey, FNC + KNS

Add Flavor, Not Salt

Many people don’t worry about sodium in their diet unless their doctor has specifically told them to cut down on it.  So they sit down to an otherwise healthy meal absent of high fat and calories and then spoil it by using an excessive amount of salt. 

Even without adding sodium to your plate, your diet is probably already exceeding the normal limits of what the FDA recommends.  Since most people habitually add salt to their meals, the doses they’re receiving cause them to take in up to three times as much sodium as necessary.

This overdosing on salt leads to hundreds of thousands of cases of high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, each year, so it’s vital that you shake your sodium habit and learn to infuse flavor without risking your health.  One way to add flavor without the negative side effect salt delivers is to use a quick spray of lemon juice or lime juice, or a pinch of garlic or onion powder on your foods instead.  Both of these options help bring out the natural freshness and flavor of vegetables.

Garlic, dill, basil, and parsley also allow you to pull out the flavor of the food without having to rely on sodium to do the job for you.  While sodium is the flavor enhancer of choice for most households, many canned, processed, and even frozen foods are already full of this ingredient.  In fact, a single fast food meal can supply more than twice your daily limit of sodium.

Some foods mask their sodium content so that you don’t even know it’s in there.  A Java Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks packs in 300 mg of sodium.  Baked cookies, doughnuts, and bread can contain baking soda, which houses 1,259 mg of sodium per teaspoon.

If you want to cook some vegetables and flavor them up, instead of reaching for the salt shaker, try roasting them in an effort to caramelize their natural sugars. This brings out a rich flavor that will replace your craving for salt once your tastebuds get used to it.

Make immediate choices to cut down on the excessive sodium in your diet.  Too much of this ingredient can cause fluid retention, blood pressure problems, and artery damage.  It can also bring an elevated risk of  stomach disease, and osteoporosis.  Give yourself at least 30 days to begin enjoying the natural flavors of food again and you won’t miss the salt you’ve been adding to your diet.

In Health!



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