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How to Cut Sodium From Your Diet

How to Cut Sodium Without Sacrificing Flavor

Readers, fuzzles wants your advice! She loves food and cooking, but needs to cut down on the salt. "What are your favorite low sodium products and tricks for a tasty lower sodium diet?" she asks. "I've had to get serious about this issue!"

We couldn't agree more. Just like sugar, salt has snuck its way into our diets in every way possible, so we've been watching our sodium intake, too. FitSugar has plenty of suggestions, like avoiding any foods that include salt as one of the first five ingredients, avoiding soda and sport drinks, and opting for low-sodium products. Personally, I try to stay away from anything in a can that I can obtain fresh, like vegetables or beans; those typically have tons of added sodium.

Did I miss anything? How do you cut down on your salt intake when cooking and dining out?

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fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
Hey all! :D Thanks for the awesome tips and support! *passionate low-sodium group fondle*
GummiBears GummiBears 5 years
My suggestion is to incorporate more spices and herbs, fresh and dried, into your cooking. I usually add them near the end of cooking since if you overcook them it turns bitter (to me). And avoid the spice blends because most of the blends contains salt. Also limit or cut out the use of canned foods and prepackaged foods, also mentioned. Major salt bombs.
Ladyseven Ladyseven 5 years
Lots of water! It'll help you flush out excess sodium. One weird trick I've heard is to soak a block of regular butter in water overnight, to extract the salt. I say, why not just buy UNSALTED butter? And kind of a weird one, but what I did as a kid might help- if you don't want to salt your food, but want a HINT of salt, shake a little onto your plate/napkin, and just dab your finger in it here and there to 'salt up' a mouthful. It means you can control how salty you want (say, chicken) while making sure that anyone else eating it can control THEIR salt level too. (I do this now more, because my BF is a saltaholic- it's kind of gross)
lauren lauren 5 years
These are great tips! I am glad the doc said yes to bacon! :) I think also just making sure you cook for yourself with no box ingredients it will cut your salt since you get to monitor it. Adding lots of different spices and maybe to replace those hot sauces get some fresh jalapeno and finely dice them! Good luck fuzzles! You have even inspired me to watch my sodium intake! :)
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
Hey guys! Thanks for the post and the thoughtful responses! Keep 'em coming! Wow. This is going to be a journey. I've never been a salt fiend, but it's surprising to learn about how much salt is REALLY out there. I never would have thought to give hot sauce the hairy eyeball! I think that I might have to conduct some sort of service for the five or six bottles that are in my fridge! And the bacon. *sigh* I can still partake (believe me, that was the first thing I asked my doc!) but it has to be just on occasion and the low sodium variety. Less is much better than none! I have been relieved to see that food manufacturers are starting to take notice of the need to cut back. I have my second vice covered (cheese!) in the form of Amy's lower sodium mac and cheese. And it's good! I toss a handful or two of steamed veggies into the mix for a quick meal. On the positive side, having to skim back also gives me the motivation to clean out and reevaluate what is in my spice pantry. If you are in Minnesota this weekend and see a mushroom cloud near a Penzey's Spices store, you know where I am and what I am doing! :woohoo: Thanks again! :D
dclsweetspot dclsweetspot 5 years
I have had to restrict sodium since I was a teen and it's not easy. Never go to a restaurant without looking at their nutrition listings first. If it is a small restaurant without one, ask for all sauces and dresing on the side and use sparingly. Ask for nothing to be seasoned. Ask whether things are premade and seasoned, ex vegetables. Get baked potatoes vs mashed and don't eat the skin if it's rubbed with butter and salt.Stay away from bread, it has very high sodium content most times. I dread eating out because it's so difficult. I usually eat very little. I also cook everything myself. I could never eat frozen or prepared food. Beware of some low sodium foods. Campbells low sodium soups average about 1,000 for the can. That's half of what an adult should have in a day for not many calories or food, Not worth the sodium. It's really hard but eventually you will get use to less salt and salty foods will be hard to tolerate. Good luck!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
Don't add salt to your boiling water in pasta. Swap any canned veggies for frozen. Veggies that aren't available frozen, you can buy fresh, dice and freeze. Always check to see if there is a low sodium option for whatever you're cooking, and then check to see how much sodium that actually takes out. Red pepper flakes instead of hot sauce. fuzzles o fuzzles, what does this mean for your bacon consumption?
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