According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 sodium is an essential nutrient and is needed by the body in relatively small quantities (provided that substantial sweating does not occur) for regulation of fluids and blood pressure. For many people higher sodium intakes can cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to other health problems like cardiovascular disease, heart failure and kidney disease so watching the amount of sodium that you consume is important.
The recommendation is to reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams or about 1 teaspoon per day. The amount is less for older people that have problems with hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. The estimated average consumption of sodium listed in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines is approximately 3,400 milligrams per day. Much of the sodium that we consume comes from salt (sodium chloride) that has been added during processing or food preparation. Salting foods at the table contributes only a small part of the sodium that Americans consume.
Here are some suggestions on ways to reduce sodium consumptions:
- Consume fresh foods rather than processed foods that are higher in sodium.
- Prepare foods at home and control the amount of additional salt you add.
- Cook with seasonings to flavor foods rather than adding salt.
- Always taste the food before adding additional salt.
- When eating out at restaurants ask for lower sodium options or ask if the salt can be left off of your food.
- Reduce your calorie intake since the more food you consume the more sodium you consume.
- Read the nutrition labels on food to see what their sodium content is. Purchase foods that are low in sodium.
If you are trying to reduce your salt intake spice combinations will add flavor to your foods without adding sodium. Here are some that you might want to try:
5 SPICE SALT-FREE SEASONING BLEND
1/2 tsp. sweet leaf basil
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground marjoram
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
In bowl, crush basil until fine. Stir in rest of ingredients. Spoon into shaker. Use to season meat, chicken, fish, casseroles, vegetables and salads.
10 SPICE SALT FREE SEASONING
2 Tablespoons leaf oregano
2 Tablespoons parley flakes
4 teaspoons sweet leaf basil
4 teaspoons leaf tarragon
1 teaspoon leaf sage
4 Tablespoons onion powder
4 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
In bowl, combine oregano, parsley flakes, basil, tarragon and sage. Crush with fingers until fine. Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, marjoram, pepper and thyme until blended. Spoon into shaker. Use to season meat, chicken, fish, casseroles, vegetables and salads.
REF: Tone’s Spices 1986
SPICY BLEND Sodium: 0.59 mg. per teaspoon
2 Tbsp. dried savory, crushed
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
2 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 3/4 tsp. curry powder
1 1/4 tsp. fresh ground white pepper
1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
12 tsp. garlic powder
Mix thoroughly and place in shaker. Store in cool, dry place. Use in main dishes.
HERB ‘N’ LEMON SEASONING Sodium: 1 mg per teaspoon
Grated peel of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or basil leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate in covered container. Sprinkles desired over meat, poultry or fish before broiling or baking.
REF: Altering Recipes Pm 1064 Jan. 1993
By eating healthy and cutting down on your sodium, it will help with many potential health problems. Clemson University has a publication called Halt! Salt that gives additional suggestions.
Food Preparation, Nutrition, recipes