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A Spoonful of Salt

Friday, April 05, 2013

Last night, I was reading a health report that indicated that we should limit our intake of salt to no more than one teaspoon per day. When you hear it, it doesn’t actually sound like very much. It’s just a measly teaspoon, right? But when you look at a teaspoonful, my gosh it sure is an awful lot of salt. Even if you use the more healthy salts, such as seat salt, kosher salt, or Himalayan pink salt, a teaspoon seems more than enough. Eating too much salt in the short term can affect weight retention, blood pressure, proper kidney functioning, and can dilute the body making a person dehydrated. In the long term, it can adversely affect the heart and lead to liver disease or kidney failure.

So, how do you season your food when you think you have to use salt to make your foods tasty? Did you know there are dozens of different herbs and spices out there you can use to add robust flavor to your foods? Some of the most common ones are cilantro, parsley, chives, marjoram, paprika, garlic, thyme, basil, caraway, dill, oregano, rosemary, savory, sage, and celery leaves. But there are many more. Using different combinations can help you get a different flavor. One combination I use is garlic, basil, marjoram, and parsley; another combination I use is sage, cilantro, thyme, and paprika. You have to experiment with different combinations to get a flavor that you like. Also, if you add the juice from a wedge of lime, lemon, or orange or a drizzle of cider or rice vinegar, you can greatly enhance the flavor.

Just like with sweets and junk foods, salt has addictive qualities. That is what makes it hard to give up. But if you replace salt with other flavors such as the ones I’ve listed above, that will help you give it up.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's amazing how many foods contain salt, without us being aware of it. Thanks for the recommendations for some alternatives, they all sound very tasty!
    1810 days ago
    I love my salt and pepper!
    1810 days ago
  • BETHS60
    I had never thought about how much a teaspoon of salt really is. I try to cook without added salt, but recently I have been craving it.

    Thanks for the flavor suggestions. I think the cilantro/paprika one would work really well for beans to give them a little hint of Mexico, and I think the garlic/basil one would put a little Italian spin on a dish.

    My health care practitioner suggested making homemade salad dressings to reduce the amount of sodium I consume. I think that mixing herbs like these with oil and vinegar would make a great low sodium dressing.
    1811 days ago
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