3/27/2017 0 Comments
Are you a salt lover…always adding salt even before you taste the food? Before you shake that salt, here are a few pros and cons to consider. I also want to share some delicious ways to spice up your food and you won’t even miss the additional salt, with recipes included. I also asked some other Registered Dietitian’s how they recommend and enjoy adding delicious essence to dishes without upping the salt factor...read on!
Keep in mind that sodium is naturally found in most foods, then we add salt, and then the manufacturers add salt, so we can wind up taking in 3x what we need. Sodium is a mineral, and one of the chemical elements found in salt…aka Sodium Chloride!
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.
Here are some recommendations from other Registered Dietitian's to flavor food without adding extra salt, check out their recipes too:
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!
Local cooking classes can be a great night out for yourself, friends, or with just your spouse. Recently, my husband and I attended a Kings Cooking Studio class on Valentine’s Day weekend. We were looking for something different to do instead of the usual eating out at a restaurant. I searched online for local cooking classes for that weekend, and was surprised to find many options available. The problem was that many couples had the same idea, and most of the classes were booked. I landed on the King’s Cooking Studio in Short Hills, NJ, which had a 3 hour "Romantic Valentine" cooking class. We were surprised to find openings, so I quickly booked this class. It turned out to be educational, fun, and delicious, plus we came home with some recipes as well as new friends that we connected with at the class.
These classes can help cooks fine-tune their skills, and learn new ones. Also if you love to cook, you can find a new cuisine to tackle. There are many options available; classes are day and evening to suit various schedules.
If you are a non-cook and feel intimated in the kitchen this is a great way to improve your comfort level. The chef thoroughly explains the techniques, and what needs to be done with each recipe. They walk around during the class to provide guidance, and encouragement. You will feel a greater confidence when you see, and taste the finished product. Hopefully the class will give you the courage and determination to become a home chef. Cooking is the healthiest form of eating because you are in control of the ingredients, and portions.
Dabblers are those of you who like the idea of cooking but feel overwhelmed by the idea of choosing a recipe and following through. A cooking class will convert the desire into a reality. The recipes and steps get broken down, and there is direction from the chef throughout the process. You also get to connect with other people in the class who are usually novices, trying to increase their knowledge and comfort level. Have you taken a group cooking class or private one, how did it go? Share your thoughts...
Janet Brancato is a Registered Dietitian based out of Glen Rock, NJ. She works with clients online, over the phone, and face to face.