Trying to cut your salt consumption in the New Year? It can be done without sacrificing flavor!
Most of us consume about 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day — well above the recommended intake of no more than 2,300 milligrams daily. And, according to the "2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans" (updated by the government's Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments every five years), about half of us should be consuming even less. Those with hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease, African Americans and people over age 50 (because those two groups have a higher rate of high blood pressure) are advised to cut their intake to fewer than 1,500 mg per day.
Label reading is important, of course. Many packaged foods contain a full day's supply of sodium in just one serving. Restaurant meals also are often highly salted — and you have no way to monitor the sodium.
Home-cooked meals offer plenty of opportunity to cut your salt intake, without settling for bland food. In fact, by substituting herbs and spices for the salt in your recipes, you'll probably make food that's more — not less — flavorful.
Cooking with less salt can be an adjustment, but with a few tips and flavorful seasonings, it needn't feel like deprivation. As you increasingly rely on other methods of boosting the flavor of your foods, you'll likely create more interesting fare than ever.
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