Remember your teenage years? When you could eat fast-food daily and not have it affect your waistline because your metabolism was a crazy beast? When worrying about sodium intake was a thing of the future? It turns out that less salt for teenagers translates to healthier adults, but unfortunately, teens consume more sodium than any other group! Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash weighs in today, courtesy of Sargento, with tips on helping families reduce their sodium intake.
Slash the Sodium
- Burst of flavor. While plain steamed vegetables are naturally low in sodium, they can often be plain and lifeless. Liven vegetables up with additions such as a reduced-sodium natural cheese, a splash of red wine vinegar or spices.
- Tastebud tricks. Make food seem saltier than it really is by adding flavor enhancements such as pepperjack cheese or small amounts of rinsed, chopped capers or olives.
- Stop shaking. Rather than using the salt shaker at the table, season food with salt-free blends of Italian and Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and freshly ground pepper for superb flavor with minimal effort.
- Cook like a chef. A small splash of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar adds depth and balance to the taste of a dish with little or no sodium.
- Just a pinch. High-sodium condiments can really add up. When choosing to dip, squirt or spritz, do so lightly to decrease the amount consumed. When available, choose their lighter cousins, such as reduced-sodium soy sauce or fresh salsa.
- Read the label. Surprisingly, foods typically thought of as healthy oftentimes contain more sodium than a food commonly thought to be higher in salt. It all boils down to reading the food label.
We could probably all stand to curb our families’ sodium intake; I know I could! What are your tricks for reducing reliance on the salt shaker? —Erin