Your doctor recommended that you lay off the salt. The American Heart Association recommends less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day in our diet. Although in the US the majority of the population consumes nearly 150% of the recommended amount. Why is this a problem? Overconsumption of salt raises blood pressure which in turn raises your risk for heart disease. The good news is that simple lifestyle changes like eating more fruit and vegetables and swapping out seasonings for salt while cooking can make a big difference. In fact, cutting back on salt has shown improvements in blood pressure within weeks.
According to the FDA, 75% of our salt intake comes from packaged food and restaurant meals. Cut back on salt intake by making fresh meals at home. Want to know how to make your salt-free kitchen exciting? Bring a world map into the kitchen and throw a dart to see where it lands! Familiarizing yourself with ethnic cuisines and their spices is a fun and delicious way to ditch the salt.
- Italian seasonings – if you don’t have dried Italian seasoning on hand, make your own! Mix together a blend of seasonings like basil, marjoram, tarragon, and parsley. Try adding things like fennel, artichokes, and olives to a dish to give it an Italian cuisine touch. If using canned olives or artichokes, rinse the items with water to get rid of the additional salt.
- Mediterranean seasonings – the flavors of the Mediterranean can be brought to your kitchen with the addition of rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, red onions, and lemon.
- Mexican seasonings – a Mexican dish can be brought to life without adding salt. Try cooking together things like bell peppers, onions, cilantro, coriander seeds, cumin, and chili powder. Add a spritz of lime to brighten up any dish.
- Indian seasonings – skip take out and make your favorite Indian cuisines at home. Indian food is known for its flavorful spices that can easily be incorporated into your kitchen. Add spices together like aniseed, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, curry powder, nutmeg, mustard seeds, saffron, and turmeric.
Continue reading February 2022 Newsletter: 5 Heart-Healthy Reasons to Exercise
Written by BWS Dietitian-Abbey Granger, MS, RDN, LD