Studies show that too much salt can increase your risk of high blood pressure. For those of us who love salty food (Kosher dill pickles, cheddar cheese, soy sauce-coated Chinese food), having a doctor instruct us to follow a low-sodium diet can be a source of gloom. Lighten up your mood and the salt content in your food with these salt-free tips from morning to night:
Seemingly “safe” choices such as your morning cereal can be hidden sources of sodium. Start the day right with a bowl of sodium-free, plain, slow-cooked oatmeal. Full of fiber, low in calories, it’s a satisfying kick-start to your morning. Jazz it up with a tablespoon of maple syrup and top it with blueberries.
Does your mid-morning snack consist of a mega-muffin? Bread also can be a hidden source of sodium. A smarter choice: a pear or apple paired up with a slice of low-sodium cheese, such as Sargento reduced sodium string cheese.
Lunch hour arrives – and if you’re thinking of a simple bowl of canned soup, crackers, and cheese, it’s time to make a new game plan. Instead, steam zucchini, mushrooms, and asparagus. Top with herbs (basil, oregano, garlic) and a sprinkle of garlic wine vinegar. On the side: a baked chicken breast.
That afternoon snack of potato chips? Out! Replaced with: air-popped popcorn (invest in an air popper to avoid the salty microwave bags), sprinkled with herbs.
Make dinner low in sodium and big in flavor by cooking dishes yourself and avoiding those microwave meals. Here’s a sample: First, prepare brown rice. Remove the white meat from leftover chicken or turkey, cut up, and stir into the rice. Top with a few slices of reduced sodium string cheese. Place in a microwave-save bowl and heat until the cheese is melted.
Love to snack while you watch TV in the evening? Enjoy with a low sodium choice such as a bowl of sugar-free vanilla ice cream.