Sodium is an important mineral for our bodies, however too much sodium in our diets can lead to high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. In addition, excess dietary sodium has been linked to gastric cancer and dementia. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2300mg of sodium per day for people without chronic diseases. For those with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney disease, the recommendation is 1500mg of sodium per day. One teaspoon of table salt contains 2300 mg of sodium.
Small amounts of sodium are found naturally in foods like meat, poultry, dairy products and vegetables. However, most of the dietary sodium consumed comes from table salt and processed foods. Added salt should be avoided and when reading food labels, you should look for products with less than 140mg of sodium per serving. Remember that foods don’t have to taste salty to be high in sodium.
Many herbs and spices are available to add flavor without the sodium. Often times, a little goes a long way when using herbs. Try using a small amount at first and add more if necessary. Remember that dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so you only need to use 1/3 the amount of dried herb for the fresh herb amount. Use the tips below to season your foods without salt:
|Type of Food
||Marjoram, Fresh Mushrooms, Nutmeg, Onion, Garlic, Pepper, Sage, Thyme, Coriander, Bay Leaf (soups), Dry Mustard Powder (Stews, Barbecue), Green Pepper, Dill Weed, Lavender, Rosemary
||Green Pepper, Lemon Juice, Marjoram, Mushrooms, Paprika, Parsley, Poultry Seasoning, Sage, Thyme, Coriander, Cardamom, Savory, Lavender, Pepper
||Bay Leaf, Curry Powder, Dry Mustard Powder, Green Pepper, Lemon Juice, Marjoram, Mushrooms, Paprika
||Curry Powder, Garlic, Mint, Mint Jelly, Pineapple, Rosemary, Cloves, Touch of Ginger, Pepper
||Marjoram, Oregano, Bay Leaf, Curry Powder, Ginger, Apricot, Pepper
||Garlic, Lemon Juice, Vinegar
||White Pepper, Green Pepper, Pimento, Cilantro
||Dill Weed, Chives, Vinegar
||Lemon Juice, Marjoram, Dill Weed, Nutmeg, Pepper, Oregano
||Shallots, Onions, Pepper, Vinegar
||Mint, White Pepper, Parsley, Garlic, Onion
||Rosemary, White Pepper, Parsley, Onion, Green Pepper, Chives, Pimento
||Onion, Saffron, Green Pepper, Chives, Pimento
||Onion, Nutmeg, Ginger, Mace, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar
||Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Onion
Please note that salt substitutes are not recommended due to their high potassium content.
**Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture and The American Heart Association**
Questions? Please call your Hospice of Huntington Dietitians:
Kellie Glass RD, LD 606.615.2585 or Amy McFann RD, LD 304.690.5063