Sodium is one of the basic elements in salt. When people get too much sodium in their diets, high blood pressure and hypertension can become a problem. If you want to keep your blood pressure low, regulate how much sodium you are consuming in your daily diet.
Cook for Yourself
Many foods, even sugary or sweet ones, have sodium in them. Processed foods, designed for a long shelf life, are sometimes loaded with salt to keep them fresh as long as possible. When you cook at home, you can measure exactly how much salt is added to your dishes or leave it out altogether. For example, jarred or canned pasta sauces and soups can be full of sodium. If you make these at home, you can taste them as they cook, checking to see whether they need any salt at all. You can also add herbs or spices to kick up the flavor without salt. The next time you bake a cake or a loaf of bread, try leaving out 1 tsp. salt in the recipe. This negligible amount of salt is often used to enhance other flavors, but you may not even notice a difference.
Vegetables and Fruits
Fresh foods rarely have much sodium on their own. The cooking or preserving processes are where excess amounts of sodium are introduced. Boost the amount of fresh or raw foods you eat. This is easy with vegetables and fruits. Make a simple dip out of fresh yogurt and spices to add interest to your vegetables. Teach yourself to munch on your favorite domestic or exotic fruit, rather than noshing a baked or preserved product.
Sodium often sneaks into your diet in meat dishes. From marinades to sauces, the delicious flavors you enjoy with your meat can have an unfortunate amount of salt. If you want to make protein a priority, take control of your meat dishes with fresh marinades. Use vinegars or kitchen utensils to tenderize your steaks. Rub your pork with a spice-and-herb filled rub, keeping the salt to a minimum. Steer clear of any herb salts, like celery or garlic salt. Instead, pulverize the vegetable or herb itself and cover your meat with the natural flavors. Use fruit-based marinades, such as mango chutney, on chicken. Turn to a vinegar-based barbecue sauce for a little zing or put together a pepper-based sauce for a kick. Remember salt is not the only spice in the cabinet. Get creative and let your dishes sing with low sodium and lots of flavor.
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