Skip the Shaker and Tame Your Salt Habit
Monday, August 25, 2014 – Worth your salt?
Too much sodium can put your health at risk. Although sodium lost by your body, mainly through sweat, needs to be replaced for health, most American’s including firefighters consume too much sodium every day. The average American obtains three times more sodium than the recommended 2,400 milligrams per day. When you consume more sodium than you need, it causes fluid retention, which increases blood volume and requires the heart to pump harder to push this blood through your arteries. Over time, this often leads to an increase in blood pressure, which damages organs, including heart, kidneys, brain, and even eyes. It also damages artery walls and eventually leads to an increased risk of heart attack or a stroke. By 2025, predictions suggest, 60% of Americans will have high blood pressure. It’s important to read labels, know how much sodium you consume every day, and to cut back if needed.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 – Salt of the earth
Sodium-rich foods may not taste salty at all. But, even if you don’t add salt to your meals, you could be getting too much. It is estimated that 80% of the sodium we consume comes from processed/ packaged foods. Many canned, frozen, baked goods and other processed and packaged foods are loaded with sodium, as it’s used as a preservative. Baked goods contain baking soda, which has 1,259 mg of sodium per teaspoon. Even a Grande Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino has a whopping 300 mg of sodium per serving! To cut back on sodium intake, choose fresh protein sources, grains, beans and vegetables whenever possible, and if you do choose canned, buy ones that say “no salt added” or “low salt” on the label, or rinse the contents under the tap to remove excess sodium. When looking at food labels, aim to pass on any food that contains more than 500 mg of salt per serving. At home, keep your favorite flavor of salt-free herb and spice blend (like Mrs. Dash) front and center on your kitchen table to help you break the habit of salting your food.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 – Cheap stuff
Think you’re choosing healthy foods at restaurants? Because sodium is such a cheap flavor enhancer, it is added to foods that may already be processed and high in sodium such as packaged meats, cheese and sauce. A typical fast-food meal can contain up to 5,000 mg of sodium – two times the salt allowed per day! When you order, ask for half the cheese, sauces on the side and more vegetable toppings. Always dress your sandwiches and burgers yourself. This way, you can not only control the amounts of condiments used, but choose those that are lower in sodium:
Balsamic vinegar: 2 teaspoons has 14 calories, 0 grams fat, and 2 milligrams sodium
Mustard: 1 teaspoon has 10 calories, 0 grams fat, and 100 milligrams sodium
Pickle relish: 1 tablespoon has 21 calories, 0 grams fat, and 109 milligrams sodium
Horseradish: 2 teaspoons has 4 calories, 0 grams fat, and 10 milligrams sodium
Lemon Juice (from ½ lemon): 8 calories, 0 grams fat, and 1 milligram sodium
Instead of these:
Creamy Southwest dressing ( 71 gram serving): 1,060 milligrams of sodium
Bacon Ranch Dressing (71 gram serving): 810 milligram sodium
Asian Sesame Dressing (71 gram serving): 780 milligram sodium
Thursday, August 28, 2014
There’s a variety of low sodium sauces and dressings available on the market, but it’s usually healthier and less costly to make your own. Here are some low sodium recipes that can add flavor to many dishes;
For gravy’s or soups, you can boil your own chicken and vegetables or use a salt free vegetable or chicken bouillon recipe:
- 1 cube of salt free chicken or vegetable bouillon (1 tsp)
- ¾ c. of cold water
- 1 tbsp. of cornstarch
- Pinch of thyme
- Pinch of pepper
- Dissolve cornstarch and powdered bouillon cubes in cold water, add spices and cook on medium while stirring constantly.
Makes 1 cup
For salad or pasta dressings, try low sodium vinaigrette:
- ½ cup of red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup of Olive oil
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 1 tsp of crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp. of Italian seasoning
- 1/8 tsp of pepper
- 1 tsp of mustard (optional)
Makes ¾ cup
Friday, August 29, 2014 – Dash it all
To reduce the risk of high blood pressure and promote heart health, try exercising and meditating regularly and follow below…
DASH Diet! The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension program, popularly known as DASH, was developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and recommended as one of the top, nationally recommended diets for heart health and weight loss. The results of the DASH-sodium studies have confirmed the significant health benefits associated with a heart healthy, low sodium diet. For several low sodium, nutritious DASH compatible recipes follow this link: http://dashdietoregon.org/resources/recipes.
If you have any questions on the above tips or are interested in having a nutrition consult with Ilene, you can either contact Ilene directly at email@example.com or WellAmerica at firstname.lastname@example.org.