Flavorful Ways to Decrease Sodium in your Diet

Uploaded by famsciEIU on 06.07.2010

♪ [music playing--no dialogue] ♪♪.
Hi. I'm Laurie Lienhop, and I'm a dietetic intern
at Eastern Illinois University.
Today I'll be discussing flavorful ways to decrease
the sodium in your diet.
According to the American Heart Association, almost one-third of
adults have high blood pressure, which is
also called hypertension.
There are not physical symptoms of hypertension, so the only way
to know if you have high blood pressure is to get it
checked by your doctor.
If you're told that you have high blood pressure, you can use
several methods such as weight loss, exercise, and diet changes
to decrease your blood pressure.
Reseach has shown that diets high in sodium increase
blood pressure, therefore diets low in sodium can
decrease your blood pressure.
The 2005 dietary guidelines for Americans recommends
that American adults consume no more than
2300 milligrams of sodium a day.
That's equal to about 1 teaspoon.
Current research studies show, however, that American men
consume about twice this amount of sodium while women consume
about one and one-half this amount.
This shows that we all can benefit from
decreasing our sodium.
So where does all this sodium come from?
Well some foods naturally contain sodium.
The greatest contributor is salt.
It can be added during cooking, at the table,
or during processing.
Some popular foods that are high in sodium include pickled items,
lunch meats, canned vegetables and soups, prepared mixes,
snack items, and frozen meals.
Items such as baking soda, baking powder, and MSG
also contain sodium.
It's important to remember that not all foods with
added salt taste salty.
So the first step in monitoring your sodium intake starts
at the grocery store.
When you're walking up and down the aisles, keep your eyes open
for several key phrases.
These include sodium free, very low sodium, low sodium--such as
this box of rice, reduced sodium--like this meal, and
no salt added--like these canned vegetables.
Buying items with any of these key phrases are going to contain
less salt and therefore help you decrease the
sodium in your diet.
If you want to add flavor without adding extra salt,
try using a variety of spices like cumin, cayenne,
and paprika.
Or you can use herbs like chives, basil, and thyme.
At first some of the low sodium food may taste a little
different to you, but don't worry.
As you gradually decrease your sodium intake over time, your
taste buds will adjust and your preference for salty food
will also decrease.
The second step in monitoring your sodium intake includes
cooking with less salt.
You can start out by decreasing the salt called for in recipes
by one-fourth, then you can gradually decrease over time.
Like I just said, you can use herbs and spices, you can make
your own special blend or you can buy pre-made blends that are
salt free at the grocery store, like Mrs. Dash.
You can also try adding a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to
vegetables, soup, and fish dishes.
Instead of buying bottled marinades--which are high
in sodium--you can make your own with fruit juice, wine, or
flavored vinegars or oils.
Try chopping fresh aromatic vegetables, like onions and
celery, to throw them in the mix for some added freshness.
The third way to decrease your sodium is to
buy more fresh produce.
We sometimes get in the rut of eating the same old peas and
carrots, but there's so much out there.
Go to our grocery store to the produce section and
take a look around.
Pick out something new and try it in a new way.
For example, you can buy onions and tomatoes, slice them thick,
and put them on the grill with some oil.
Toss with some basil leaves and you have a great
summer grilled salad.
For a side dish try blanching some asparagus with some
lemon juice and sprinkling with a bit of cayenne pepper
before serving.
If you have a sweet tooth, try boiling some pears or plums in
simple syrup with some cinnamon.
Limiting your sodium doesn't have to be bland and boring.
You can buy low sodium fresh foods and customize them with
the flavors you want.
Just remember to look for key phrases on the label, cook with
less sodium, and buy more fresh fruits and vegetables.
You can go to www.allrecipes.com or www.lowsodiumcooking.com to
find new recipes to try on your own.
It's a win-win situation.
You can have delicious foods while lowering
your blood pressure.
♪ [music playing--no dialogue] ♪♪.