Sodium is used to cure meat, for baking, thickening, retaining moisture, enhancing flavor, and as a preservative. Approximately 75% of dietary sodium comes from packaged foods, and restaurant meals, whereas 11 % comes from home cooking and eating. The average American takes in about 3400 mg daily, even though the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2300 mg, and only 1500 mg for adult heart health. These common foods are considered the “Salty 6” because of their high sodium content: breads/rolls, pizza, soups, cold cuts/cured meats, poultry (from added water/sodium to increase moisture and tenderness), and sandwiches. Other popular sodium rich sources come from cheeses, salty snacks, frozen dinners, condiments, pickles/olives, seasoned salts, sauces and gravies.
So what’s the downside of extra sodium? Here are a few things to consider…
A balance of sodium and water in the body is necessary for proper function, but extra sodium can cause our bodies to retain more water which influences overall weight, increasing body weight (which is only water weight not fat, but can be frustrating) and that bloated feeling! So if you are trying to lose weight those salty foods can be a road block! Also, If you have high blood pressure that extra fluid can cause your heart and kidneys to have to work extra hard to keep the delicate balance.
Angie Asche, MS, RD of eleatnutrition.com shared her favorite seasoning blend which is Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning which she uses on everything from roasted veggies, chicken, and turkey burgers!
Katie Pfeiffer-Scanlan, MS, RD of onehungrybunny.com recommends adding garlic or umami to anything!
*Umami adds a savory flavor to dishes like using sun-dried tomatoes, low-sodium soy sauce, anchovies, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and low-sodium broth to name a few!*
Roasted Beet Pesto and Greens Pasta
Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN of nutritioulicious.com shared her blog with recipes using herbs:
30 Recipes that Boost Flavor with Herbs and Spices
Summer Shakshuka Recipe
Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD of eatreallivewell.com shares her tips:
Spice up your Life Flavor without the Salt and Sugar
Vegan Taco Burgers
Linsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN, CLC of nutritiontofit.com explained that her favorite salt-free seasoning blend is Herbes de Provence "I love adding it to roasted potatoes to pack in flavor, and add it to marinades all the time. Just last night I marinated chicken in Herbes de Provence and half a freshly squeezed orange (balsamic works great, too) for grilled chicken for salads."
Kathy J. Shatler, MS, RD of VirtualNutritionalSynergy.com, suggests how about learning to use a fresh chopped clove of garlic 3x per day to lower cholesterol?? You can grill, marinate, or use fresh is best.
So many great tips & recipes to try from professionals to keep the sodium intake lower. What ways do you liven up recipes without adding salt?...please share, I would love to hear from you!