By Nicole Barker – Fitday.com
It’s a no-brainer for people with high blood pressure to cut down on sodium in their diet. It’s just so hard to do. Sodium tastes so good. That, of course, is why restaurants generally use a good bit of sodium to their food. They’re more interested in you enjoying your meal than living longer because your blood pressure stays in line.
So how can we flavor our foods, and still have it taste good? There is no need to sacrifice flavor when you need to cut down on sodium if you will only follow these 15 suggestions.
1. Even though it is tempting to add salt to pasta or any starchy foods that are topped with other meats or sauces, it is unnecessary. The toppings usually add sufficient flavor. Most people won’t even notice that the salt was omitted.
2. Evaluate your salt intake. If the first meal of the day is higher in sodium, then eat lower sodium meals for the remainder of the day. Instead of sprinkling salt directly onto your food, sprinkle it into your hand so you can judge how much you are actually using.
3. You can cut down on salt by taking the salt shaker from your table. In place of the salt, use lemon juice on food instead of salt.
4.If possible, try not to use onion or garlic salt as spices. To create these spices, some onion or garlic has been mixed into salt. Instead, use natural onion or garlic for extra flavor – minus the salt.
5. Refrain from buying packaged box mixes for cakes, pancakes, cornbread, muffins, biscuits, etc. If you prepare your own, you can monitor the ingredients and cut down on salt.
6. Study all labels to decide the level of sodium content. By doing this, you can buy low sodium products whenever feasible. Also, try to refrain from using any products that include sodium as an ingredient. Not easy to do, but necessary.
7. Discover the numerous herbs, spices and fruits which will liven up your food and are easily accessible. Who knows, you may determine to grow your own, or experiment with store purchased herbs to cut down on sodium.
8. Use one of numerous salt free mixtures of herbs and spices that are pre-made for seasonings.
9. Any potassium chloride products should not be used as salt substitutes. They can heighten potassium levels in your body and may even cause heart rhythm abnormalities.
10. To cut down on sodium, marinate food in wine or add wine to Sauces and soups. If you completely cook the food, much of the alcohol will cook off, but the flavor will be enhanced.
11. Use fresh vegetables whenever feasible. Although, if you have to use processed vegetables, wash them in water prior to using. Washing will help take some of the salt out that was added during the processing and canning.
12.Try adding a little oregano, chives, parsley, paprika, red or green pepper. They can add a lot of flavor to a meal yet keep sodium low.
13. Be certain to keep your meals pleasing and incorporate an assortment of colors and textures. Many men and women are more tempted to add salt when the food appears boring.
So how much sodium should a person consume when they are trying to cut down on sodium? A good rule of thumb is under 2400 mg of sodium a day. That is about a teaspoon of salt per day. A two ounce bag of Cheeto’s has 590mg. It’s pretty easy to go over the 2400 mg. Of sodium a day rule.
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