There’s a salty buzz in the air. New York City joined with other cities to ask the food industry to cut the amount of salt they use by 25%.
Here follows the good, the bad and the ugly about salt, as well as suggestions as to how you can season your foods without it!
Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is our number-one source of sodium. It is an important, much needed mineral in our diets. Sodium regulates the water in our bodies, and it controls muscle and nerve function.
We only need 500 mg of sodium per day, but the average American ingests five or six grams of sodium per day! That’s about two and a half times the amount needed.
Excess sodium levels may lead to fluid retention, which can lead to increased circulatory volume (which can put a strain on the heart and kidneys), hypertension and high blood pressure. (Oh my!)
Unless you’re running marathons, swimming the British Channel or climbing mountains (in other words, engaging in arduous exercise in sweltering environments wherein you need extra sodium to compensate for the amount of fluids you’re sweating out), you should be thinking of ways to reduce your sodium intake.
* The amount of sodium found in processed foods is very high. Try to reduce or (if you can – eliminate) the amount of processed meals, canned soups and snack foods that you eat.
* Read the nutrition labels on all packages. Check the sodium levels. It’s a real eye-opener.
* Out of sight – out of mind: keep the salt off the table.
* Remove excess salt from pretzels. Stay away from salted chips and nuts.
* Eat fresh fruits and vegetables!
In lieu of salt, try these seasonings. (Source: National Institutes of Health)
For Meat, Poultry, and Fish —
Beef – Bay leaf, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme
Lamb – Curry powder, garlic, rosemary, mint
Pork – Garlic, onion, sage, pepper, oregano
Veal – Bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, oregano
Chicken – Ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme
Fish – Curry powder, dill, dry mustard, lemon juice, marjoram, paprika, pepper
For Vegetables —
Carrots – Cinnamon, cloves, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage
Corn – Cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika, parsley
Green Beans – Dill, curry powder, lemon juice, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme
Greens – Onion, Pepper
Peas – Ginger, marjoram, onion, parsley, sage
Potatoes – Dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, sage
Summer Squash – Cloves, curry powder, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage
Winter Squash – Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, onion
Tomatoes – Basil, bay leaf, dill, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, pepper
What to do with all your left-over salt? Here are a few of my favorite beauty tips!
* Want to whiten your teeth? Pulverize one part salt to two parts baking soda. (Can either use mortal and pester or rolling pin.) Brush your teeth with mixture. It whitens, removes plaque and is said to promote healthier gums!
* Eyes puffy? Mix one teaspoon of salt in a pint of hot water. Soak cotton balls or pads in it and apply to puffy areas. (I’m boiling water right now – no kidding!)
* Need a facial? Mix equal parts of salt and olive oil. Massage into face, throat and neck. Leave on for five minutes. Remove with warm water.
* It’s bath time! Mix the following ingredients together in a plastic container – 1/2 cup baking soda; 1/2 cup dry milk; 1 cup Epson salt; 1 cup sea salt. Add ‘salt bath’ to taste.
To Your Health!
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