I only learned how to cook a year ago; in fact, I was forced to learn when I started living alone – it was either that or starve to death. Of course, I could have just eaten out, but then, that would have caused havoc with both my bank balance and my fitness routine. The first time I went back home after I spread my own wings, I discovered that my mom’s cooking, which I had always loved, tasted too salty. The meat, the potatoes, everything seemed to have more than an extra pinch of salt. The funny thing was that I was the only one who was complaining about the salt; my siblings were appreciating the taste as always, and my dad, well, dad has to good-naturedly find some fault in mom’s cooking as a tradition.
To cut a long story short, I realized that my taste buds had gotten used to a low-salt diet and were now rebelling at the excess of sodium that they were being subjected to. The best part of the whole experience was the realization of the fact that anyone, even those who were used to a regular amount of salt in their diets, could get used to food that contained the minimum amount of sodium.
Salt, or more specifically the sodium that it contains, is extremely bad for you, especially if you’re prone to high blood pressure. Besides the salt that we routinely add to food, there’s also the sodium that comes in canned and processed goods. It helps to be aware of the dangers of, and avoid this white substance as much as possible. And if you’re wondering how to give salt the cold shoulder even as you don’t compromise on taste, read on to find out:
Prepare food from scratch rather than eat frozen or canned goods. Food that is ready to eat must contain a certain amount of sodium as a preservative. If you must eat from a can or a TV dinner, read the labels carefully and go for the ones that are low in sodium benzoate and sodium citrate.Don’t reach for the salt shaker each time you feel your meal is missing some salt.
You’ll get used to the new taste soon enough. It’s just a matter of discipline and control.
When eating out, avoid fast foods and soups. Stick to steamed vegetables, chicken and fish.
Don’t get into the habit of adding sauces and other condiments to every salad or soup that you order.
When cooking, use herbs, spices, wine and lemon to add more taste to your food without having to resort to salt to do the trick.
Find recipes that do not require much salt to taste good.
Use unsalted or low salt butter and cheese if you must use these dairy products when cooking.
A salt-free diet translates to a trouble-free and healthy life – not only do you bring down your chances of developing hypertension, you also keep your weight down.
This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of Online EKG Programs. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org