How To Lower Your Sodium Intake

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Image result for Sodium IntakeWhile sodium is something that your body needs in order to function properly, most people consume far too much of it. The total recommended daily intake of sodium is no more than 2400 milligrams of sodium. This is just a little bit more than a teaspoon of table salt. The standard American diet of processed food contains much more sodium than this, and many Americans are feeling the effects. Excess sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease, so it is wise to try to lower your sodium intake. If you are working at effectively lowering your sodium intake, here are a few tips that will help.
First and foremost, eliminate as many processed foods as you can from your diet. From hamburger casserole to spaghetti sauce, to canned vegetables, processed foods contain salt. As a matter of fact, most processed foods do not taste good without salt. This is because the food manufacturers use salt instead of other spices or seasonings to hide the taste of the processing. Cooking these same foods from scratch will reduce their sodium content considerably. Cooking fresh vegetables, making your own spaghetti sauce, or cooking your own casserole is not only less expensive it is tastier and better for your heart than processed food.
As you start to cook more of your food from scratch, get to know your way around your spice cabinet. Most people use only a small handful of spices. Using more herbs and spices when you cook will add flavor while reducing the amount of salt that your food needs in order to taste good. If you are just getting started with using spices you may feel more comfortable with spice blends. There are several on the market that do not contain any salt. While these are more expensive than using your own spices, they can be an effective and simple way to boost the flavor in your food without adding salt.
While it might seem counterintuitive, seasoning your food well while you are cooking it will reduce the amount of salt that you need when your food gets to the table. A pinch of salt in a dish while it is cooking will eliminate the need for salting and potentially over salting food before you eat it. If you use spices well and season your food while it is cooking, you can probably eliminate the need for salt shakers at the table at all.
One of the most significant sources of sodium in many diets are the canned broths used to make soup and flavor many other dishes. While these broths may be quick and easy, they are low in flavor and high in sodium. Instead, try making homemade chicken stock and freezing it in small portions to use in cooking. Homemade chicken stock is an excellent way to use up things that would otherwise go to waste and create a product that is healthier and tastes better than what you can buy in the store.

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