Tips for Living with a Low Sodium Diet

By: Greg Patterson


Have you recently had to go on a low-sodium diet? If so then you are probably finding it to be a challenge as it seems that sodium is everywhere? Well you are certainly not alone as the typical American eats both a high amount of fast food (that is loaded with sodium) and when they are home they tend to gravitate towards those equally dangerous comfort foods. These tend to be processed foods such as frozen, canned soups and vegetables, boxed noodles, salsas and chips. These are all loaded with sodium.
Recommendations for those on a low-sodium diet are typically to stick somewhere between 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. That equals about one teaspoon of salt which is about 2,300 mg of sodium.
So what can you cut back on your sodium intake? Here are some tips to get you started on the correct path. As with all major lifestyle changes the most important thing is to just get started. As Confucius said A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. By following these simple rules you will learn to master your new low sodium lifestyle in no time. Keep it simple, dont stress and remember:
First dont beat yourself up. Your goal is not to completely eliminate all the salt entering your system it is to get your sodium intake down to the level prescribed by your doctor.
Stop adding salt to your food " dont add it at the dinner table and dont add it when cooking. Yes these old habits will be hard to break and you also have to be aware not to deprive yourself of wonderful taste. But salt isnt the only way to provide great taste. Learn to experiment. Start by filling your salt shaker with some salt-free herbs and spices. A great place to start is by combining some of these " basil, oregano, parsley, cayenne pepper, onion, garlic and lemon pepper are all great options. Begin mixing small amounts until you find a combination that suits your tastes.
If you dont already own a peppermill go out and buy one. The flavor and aroma of freshly ground peppercorns is not only amazing but there are also so many varieties to choose from. The most recognized is a common black peppercorn which is typically a variety like Lampong. A more upscale black peppercorn is the gourmet quality Tellicherry. For those that really want to embrace exotic taste sensations try Pink, Green or Sichuan peppercorns. For a milder peppercorn with a European twist go for a white peppercorn as these tend to have less bite than the black peppercorns.
Learn how to read food labels " by comparing products side-by-side you will begin to see some amazing differences between products that may at first seem identical. As a rule of thumb all packaged food is going to be higher in sodium than fresh foods but if you cant choose fresh you can still make healthier choices when you know what to look for!
Embrace fresh fruits and vegetables as they are very low in sodium levels and as a bonus you can also eat about as much as youd like and not worry about packing on any extra pounds. Other good choices are fresh lean beef, chicken as these tend to be low in sodium as well.
Learn how to savor herbs " a great trick is before adding herbs to your dish crush them in your hand as this brings out the full taste. Also herbs provide the most flavor when added towards the end of the cooking process.
It will be difficult to change your eating habits, but go for small changes to start. Begin with targeting just one meal a day. Once you have that as a habit then add a second meal. This approach will get you on the right path before you know it. It may take weeks before you have a good understanding of low-sodium foods, but you will adjust. And eventually you might not even miss the salt as your taste buds will come alive as they are exposed to a world of amazing new tastes and flavors.

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Greg Patterson has been studying healthier eating alternatives and how to fully utilize the finest herbs and spices in healthier cooking for more than two decades. His extensive experience in restaurants, physical fitness and customer service led him to launching SpicesInc.com in order to provide top quality seasoning blends, herbs, spices and salt-free seasonings from around the world.

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