Five ways to use less salt


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos





Salt is essential to the body. The sodium in salt helps transmit nerve impulses and contract muscle fibers. It also works with potassium to balance fluid levels in the body. But you need only a tiny amount of salt to do this — less than one-tenth of a teaspoon per day. The average American gets nearly 20 times that much.

The body can generally rid itself of excess sodium. In some people, though, consuming extra sodium makes the body hold on to water. This increases the amount of fluid flowing through blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure.

An alarming one in three American adults has high blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, many people don't even know they have it, because high blood pressure has no symptoms or warning signs. But when elevated blood pressure is accompanied by abnormal cholesterol and blood sugar levels, the damage to your arteries, kidneys, and heart accelerates exponentially. Fortunately, high blood pressure is easy to detect and treat.

Most of the salt that Americans consume comes from prepared and processed foods. The leading culprits include snack foods, sandwich meats, smoked and cured meats, canned juices, canned and dry soups, pizza and other fast foods, and many condiments, relishes, and sauces — for starters. But enough of it comes from the salt shaker at home that it's worth finding alternatives. Here are five ways to cut back on sodium when cooking or at the table:

1. Use spices and other flavor enhancers. Add flavor to your favorite dishes with spices, dried and fresh herbs, roots (such as garlic and ginger), citrus, vinegars, and wine. From black pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric to fresh basil, chili peppers, and lemon juice, these flavor enhancers create excitement for the palate — and with less sodium.

2. Go nuts for healthy fats in the kitchen. Using the right healthy fats — from roasted nuts and avocados to olive, canola, soybean, and other oils — can add a rich flavor to foods, minus the salt.

3. Sear, sauté, and roast. Searing or sautéing foods in a pan builds flavor. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of many vegetables and the taste of fish and chicken. If you do steam or microwave some dishes, perk them up with a finishing drizzle of flavorful oil and a squeeze of citrus.

4. Get your whole grains from sources other than bread. Even whole-grain bread, though a healthier choice than white, can contain considerable sodium. Bread contains quite a bit of salt — not just for flavor, but to ensure that the dough rises properly. You can skip that extra salt when you look for whole grains outside of baking. For example, instead of toast with breakfast, cook up steel-cut oats, farro, or other intact whole grains with fresh or dried fruit.

5. Know your seasons, and, even better, your local farmer. Shop for raw ingredients with maximum natural flavor, thereby avoiding the need to add as much (if any) sodium. Shop for peak-of-season produce from farmers' markets and your local supermarket.

Source: Harvard Medical School: health.harvard.edu



Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Vernon hosts annual turkey trot
Kelly Weller and the Vernon Township Board of Recreation initiated hosting a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning to benefit The...
Read more »
Image

College commitment

Read more »
Image

Dale A. Parker
Dale A. Parker, age 77, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, at his residence in Unionville, New York. Born in Sussex to the late R.D. Parker and Barbara Mary (Southard) Parker,...
Read more »
Image

Airbnb boom
BY ERIKA NORTON
Instead of staying at a standard hotel or bed and breakfast, visitors to the Hudson Valley and Northern New Jersey are choosing more and more to book a...

Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST READ

Local News
Another local shopper takes home prize
  • Dec 12, 2018
Local News
Vernon mulls raising cat adoption fee
  • Dec 12, 2018
Cartoons
(No heading)
  • Dec 12, 2018

MOST COMMENTED



Find more about Weather in Lafayette, NJ