Low Sodium Recipes and Cooking Tips

As I previously mentioned in an earlier post called Low Sodium Diets, the FDA recommends that Americans consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon) of salt a day. The depressing news is 1 ounce of pretzels or 2 tablespoons of salad dressing can pack upwards of 500 milligrams of sodium! Considering that salt is an ingredient in just about every type of processed food or restaurant meal, it’s no wonder most Americans are getting double or triple the amount of sodium they need each day. This is why I have written a few posts about Low Sodium Diets, and probably will continue to as I find new information.

Salt can add rich flavor to your food, but getting too much of it can also cut years from your life. Scientific studies have concluded that a high-sodium diet is linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.

What Can We Do?

Cutting the Salt in Your Cooking

The challenge has always been limiting the salt in your meals without sacrificing the flavor in your food. Here are three low-sodium cooking tips to help you make healthy, delicious meals that are good for your heart:

  1. Keeping It Real – Processed foods often contain high levels of salt the act as a preservative. The easiest ways to avoid these preservatives and control how much sodium goes into your food is to cook your meals from scratch. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Cookbooks and internet websites offer many “quick and easy” low sodium recipes that take the guesswork out of cooking. Here are some other options:
  2. Be A Label Reader – Read food labels for sodium content such as salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking soda, baking powder, and sodium benzoate. Look for products labeled “Sodium-Free” (less than 5 mg of sodium per serving), “Very Low Sodium”(35 mg or less), or “No Salt Added.”
  3. Learn When To Bend The Rules – When a recipe calls for a pinch of salt, try replacing it with other herbs or spices such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, onion or garlic powder, curry powder, pepper, nutmeg, cumin, ginger, cilantro, bay leaf, oregano, dry mustard, or dill.

What To Watch For (Major Hidden Sodium Sources)

Some items are worse than others but in my experience, the following items are typically high in sodium (but usually have low-sodium versions):

  • broths, dressings, soy sauce, bouillon cubes, meat tenderizers, seasoned salts
  • condiments like mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce

What You Can Do

  • buy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned
  • buy fresh poultry, fish and meat instead of processed or smoked varieties
  • cook brown rice instead of instant or flavored
  • cook whole baked potatoes instead of instant or flavored
  • canned foods such as tuna should be rinsed before using (they are preserved in high sodium fluids)

Be sure to check out some of the other Low Sodium Recipe articles.

Check out other low sodium recipes (they have over 2200) here. Registration is free and they offer you tons of free stuff too.