If, after that last Doctor’s visit, you’re trying to figure out how to cook with less salt to control your blood pressure, here’s a few ideas.
I’m sure you’ve been told that salt, in large amounts, can be harmful to your health.
- The recommended daily amount of salt is about 2,400 milligrams. Most people, however, have at least two or three times that much each day. They just don’t know it.
- While you may be using salt to flavor, manufacturers are still using it as a preservative.
- Frozen meals, processed foods and anything else that is pre-packaged. Also, check the labels on canned foods. Salt is used as a preservative as well.
- Even the pre-packaged and frozen “healthy food” meals can contain above the daily intake level.
For people with high blood pressure, kidney issues, obesity and heart problems, eating too much salt can be a major issue.
You probably won’t be able to go cold turkey, but you can work to reduce it one week at a time, by learning to cook with less salt.
Less Salt and More Flavors
Here are a few ways to let go of the salt shaker.
- Get rid of processed food. The major source of hidden salt is processed foods. Read the food labels. Know how much salt you are getting with each serving.
- Use low-sodium alternatives. Use low-sodium chicken broth to season rice, low-sodium soy sauce, there’s a low-sodium version of everything…but still, read the labels. Just because it’s “reduced sodium” doesn’t mean it’s good for you…it’s all about their definition of “reduced” and “low.”
- Use low-sodium beef broth when making stew.
- You can even dilute the broth with half a can of water.
Salt and pepper aren’t the only spices in the flavor arsenal.
- Try something a bit spicy like cumin, cayenne pepper or chili powder.
- Lemon juice can give food a tangy taste that may be close to what you taste with salt in food.
- Stimulate other taste areas of your tongue and experience new flavors.
- Use herbs. Fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, dill and mint can bring powerful new tastes to your palate. Try them with vegetables to enhance the taste.
- Try garlic…It smells wonderful and tastes even better. Press it to release the goodness. Chop it for stews or soups.
- Try reduced sodium salt. Morton’s has a great “Lite Salt” with 50% less sodium…You will not taste the difference.
When you learn to recognize the natural tastes of food, you will need less salt to enhance it, because that’s all salt is for.
Every small thing you do to protect your heart will be worth it. Promise.