If you are like me, I have spent a lot time growing herbs this summer. It's now the time of year that we harvest them. Thus, August 29th was chosen as More Herbs, Less Salt day to coincide with the harvest of herbs. Replacing salt with herbs is a healthy idea for people of all ages, but especially for seniors. The need to watch salt intake to curb high blood pressure should be high on your list of things to do to make a healthier you.
The average American’s salt intake is 3,400 mg per day, which is more than 50% of that which is recommended.[i] Without even picking up your salt shaker, you are subject to high amounts of sodium with almost any processed food you purchase. Look at the amount of salt in a can of prepared soup. Most use more than one-third the amount of your daily need. Add saltines to that and you have probably used at least one-half the amount of your daily need. So what is the daily recommend amount of sodium for one’s diet? The answer is about one teaspoon, which is about 2,300 mg of salt (as recommended by the American Dietary Guidelines).
Though we have been talking about salt, salt is not synonymous with sodium. Salt contains sodium and is a common vehicle for sodium to enter the body. But did you know that sodium naturally occurs in foods such as celery, beets and even milk?
Now let’s take a look at the foods that you may be consuming that have high sodium content:
Canned entrees (soup, ravioli, chili, spam)
Smoked, salted, cured or canned meats (including poultry and fish)
Frozen pizza and burritos
Bottled water (yes, that’s right – some do – Dasani, SmartWater, Nestles Pure Life water)
So, as you can see, there are many avenues of food consumption that bring sodium into your body.
WHAT’S A PERSON TO EAT THEN?
Imagine the culinary discoveries one could make by substituting salt for herbs and spices. Let me help you:
As with anything, there is a learning curve, if you will, to adjusting to and creating a new habit with your eating. Remember, it took a lifetime for you to create the habit of salt. It will take some adjustment, but you will find you feel better and you are actually doing your body a favor by substituting herbs for salt.
Here is a link for a free, downloadable list of herbs and how to use them with various foods: https://www.yourchoicenutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SALT-SUBSTITUTES.pdf. Why not print it and post it on your refrigerator.
Here is a small preview of this list:
Potatoes: Black Pepper, Chives, Dill Seed, Dill Weed, Garlic, Onion Powder, Parsley, Rosemary.
Tomatoes: Basil, Black Pepper, Garlic, Marjoram, Oregano, Onion Powder, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary.
Poultry: Basil, Cilantro, Chives, Cumin, Garlic, Lemon Peel, Oregano, Onion Powder, Parsley, Paprika, Sage, Saffron, White Pepper.
The downloadable list includes other food items with herbs to substitute for salt such as beef, fish, pork, lamb; plus squashes, corn and other vegetables.
It can be fun and a great adventure when you find out the world of herbs in your cabinet can be as healthy as they are nutritious. So enjoy your decision for a healthier lifestyle and add some extra garlic for me ☺
« Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
[i] Commissioner, Office of the. “You May Be Surprised by How Much Salt You're Eating.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/you-may-be-surprised-how-much-salt-youre-eating.