What are some ways to reduce the sodium in my diet?
Most Americans are encouraged to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. With certain disease conditions such as hypertension or congestive heart failure, 2,000 milligrams or less is encouraged. However, the average adult American takes in around 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams daily.
Try to tame your salt-craving taste buds by slowly decreasing the amount of salt in your diet to a moderate level. The preference for salt is learned. It will take time to adjust. -Season with herbs, spices, herb-vinegars, herb rubs, and fruit juices. -Drain the salty liquid from canned vegetables and beans. Rinse with plain water. -Try some of the low-sodium, reduced-sodium or no-salt products at your grocery store. -Taste foods before you reach for the saltshaker. -Skip the salt in the cooking water of pasta, noodles, rice, vegetables and cooked cereal. -Use salty meats such as bacon, ham and sausage in moderation.
To keep your sodium intake to a healthful level, try these tips:
-Eat more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables which are naturally low in sodium. -Use salt either at the table or in cooking, but not both. -Request that restaurant meals be prepared with less or no salt. -Rinse canned vegetables and beans to remove some of the added sodium before using in a recipe. -Beware of condiments...ketchup, soy sauce, salad dressings, etc. can be very high in sodium. -Purchase low-sodium versions of foods you eat often...low sodium frozen dinners, canned soups, salt-free spaghetti sauce, etc. -Use fresh meat, poultry, and fish instead of cold cuts, sausage, hot dogs, metts, brats, bacon, and canned meats. -Use unsalted pretzels, fresh or dried fruits, raw vegetables, and unsalted crackers instead of salty snacks like potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, nuts. -Try plain cooked rice and homemade pasta instead of rice and pasta mixes. -Select herbs, spices, vinegars, pepper, lemon pepper, herb seasoning blends (Mrs. Dash), or try one of these blends.
SPICE OF LIFE 1T ground marjoram 1T ground savory 1T ground thyme 1 1/2t ground basil 1 1/2t pepper 1 1/2t oregano Combine and mix well. Great on chicken, fish and in your favorite tomato dish.
ZESTY HERB SEASONING 1/4 cup instant chopped onion 1 T sweet basil 1 T ground cumin 1 T garlic powder 1 T black pepper Mix well. Enjoy on salads and vegetables
SOME LIKE IT HOT 1 t chili powder 2 t ground oregano 2 t black pepper 1 T garlic powder 1 T dry mustard 6 T onion powder 3 T paprika 3 T poultry seasoning Mix well. Use on meats, chicken, fish and chili.
Written by Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
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