Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tips for Low Sodium Meals

Salt, we need it to live, it makes food taste better, its in.... everything

But its important to watch the sodium we take in, because too much of it can cause swelling, bloating, and can lead to kidney problems, high blood pressure, and heart failure.

Don't get me wrong, I love salt, but I try not too use too much of it when I cook, because I know that once the food makes it to the individual plates, the habit of grabbing the rooster full of salt is hard to stop.

So realizing, that my creations are only going to be flavored to the diner's delight, I try to cook meals that are low in salt, or flavor it to my taste (except in baking, where it is often needed for science reasons)

Another way to avoid too much sodium is to take a look at the ingredients (something I always recommend if you want to eat healthy) 
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) This should be avoided anyways, because its awful for you
  • Baking Soda: Not that you should avoid it, but maybe before using salted butter on that homemade biscuit, try some honey or jam
  • Baking Powder: Same recommendation as above
  • Disodium phosphate: An anti-caking agent
  • Sodium alginate: an emulsifier
  • Sodium nitrate or nitrite: is a preservative that changes the color of fish and meat fights botulism 


Another good way to avoid sodium is using fresh herbs and veggies,  avoid using pre-mixed spice packets because they are usually made with mostly salt. 

Make your own! Make your own dressings, that way you can control how much sodium goes into them,  a simple drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar are really help to bring out the flavor of fresh veggies, without covering them up like traditional dressings. Try out this Balsamic vinegrette from Emeril. 


 This Recipe for Mediterranean butter, made with Mrs.Dash's  low sodium tomato-basil seasoning, is simple and easy served over veggies or fish. Just mix butter and the seasoning, and spread over the fish and veggies! YUM! I think I would like to try this over the veggies and potatoes, in foil on the grill while camping!

Another way to limit the salt intake is to make your own food, salt is naturally a preservative, my making your own fresh breads, dinners, sauces, and snacks, you can avoid the salt-laden preservatives that fill convenience foods (it will also cut down that waist line)

Eat home, and if you don't pay for quality. I am a big believer in this, I don't eat 'sit down fast food' Chain restaurants that you find in strip malls. The food is not healthy, even the salads often times have more calories then a piece of chocolate cake. They also use tons of salt to make the food so delicious.  I going to make this zucchini casserole for diner once a few more zucchinis ripen. I am always over salting my zucchini (I don't really like them) but this is made with  Mrs.Dash's lemon pepper seasoning blend, and I think it looks so good! 

Condiments are also high in salt, but you don't have to eat a dry sandwich. Try using some aIoli in place of the mayo, fresh basil pesto is another yummy low sodium sandwich spread.


Its always important to watch what we eat, try out some of these recipes and you're on your way to a healthier heart, and tastier food!




“I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here





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