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Substitute Flavor for Salt at Every Meal

May 23, 2008
Even without adding sodium to your plate, your diet is probably already exceeding the normal limits of what the FDA recommends. Since most people habitually add salt to their meals, the doses they're receiving cause them to take in up to three times as much sodium as necessary.

This overdosing on salt leads to over 150,000 deaths each year, so it's vital that you shake your sodium habit and learn to infuse flavor without risking your health. One way to add flavor without the negative side effect salt delivers is to use a quick spray of lemon juice or a pinch of sugar on your foods instead. Both of these options help bring out the natural freshness and flavor of vegetables.

Garlic, dill, basil, and parsley also allow you to pull out the flavor of the food without having to rely on sodium to do the job for you. While sodium is the flavor enhancer of choice for most households, many canned, processed, and even frozen foods are already full of this ingredient. In fact, a single fast food meal can supply more than twice your daily limit of sodium.

The biggest offenders for over-delivering on sodium are cheese, bacon, and soy sauce. Instead of fusing these ingredients, spice up your dish with ginger, rice vinegar, or lime juice.

Many products today such as the soy sauce, cheese, cottage cheese, almost anything now, come in 'low sodium' or 'light'. But be careful, just because a product has the word 'light' on it, doesn't mean it's free from the sodium. Read the 'nutritional values' on the package and compare with the regular variety to get the big picture.

Some foods mask their sodium content so that you don't even know it's in there. A Java Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks packs in 300 mg of sodium. Baked cookies, doughnuts, and bread can contain baking soda, which houses 1,259 mg of sodium per teaspoon.

If you want to cook some vegetables and flavor them up, instead of reaching for the salt shaker, try roasting them in an effort to caramelize their natural sugars. This brings out a rich flavor that will replace your craving for salt once your tastebuds get used to it.

Make immediate choices to cut down on the excessive sodium in your diet. Too much of this ingredient can cause fluid retention, blood pressure problems, and artery damage. It can also bring an elevated risk of certain cancers and cause stomach disease, and osteoporosis.

There are a ton of alternatives that you can use to add that desired flavor to you foods. Give yourself at least 30 days to begin enjoying the natural flavors of food again and you won't miss the salt you've been adding to your diet. Your body and mind will thank you in the end.

'Good health is only Valued when it's lost'
About the Author
Ron Richardson is an online entrepreneur and consultant.
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