October 31, 2018
So your doctor said it’s time to cut back on salt. You’re not the only one reaching for the salt shaker too often. In fact, 90% of Americans eat too much salt. The American Heart Association says recommends 2,300 mg of sodium a day (and 1,500 mg is even better) but on average Americans are getting more like 3,400 mg of sodium daily.
Why is this a problem? Overconsumption of salt can lead to high blood pressure and high blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
The good news? Making a lifestyle change -- like moving to a whole food plant-based diet and cooking with seasonings without salt -- can make a big difference in your blood pressure and your health. In fact, cutting back on salt has been shown to reduce blood pressure within weeks.
And while that’s great, the tough part isn’t understanding WHY too much salt isn’t ideal. The challenge is learning how to live salt free.
Since 75% of our salt intake comes from packaged food and restaurant meals, one of the best ways to cut back on salt is to start cooking fresh meals at home and getting acquainted with all the fun spices and seasonings without salt likely already sitting in your pantry.
So does going on a low sodium diet mean you’re in from bland meal times the rest of your life? Hardly!
Cooking without salt actually opens up a whole new world of possibilities, introducing you to new seasonings and spices you may have overlooked for far too long. Seriously, there are so many delicious salt free ways to season your food, you’ll forget about the salt shaker in no time.
Mrs. Dash - when you’re first cooking without salt Mrs. Dash is a great way to find flavor without too much experimentation in the kitchen. The fine folks at Mrs. Dash have already done all the work, creating a variety of salt-free all purpose seasoning blends to make any dish -- from Mexican to Italian -- taste just right, without salt!
Lemon pepper - Up the roasted veggie ante with lemon pepper and you’ll get delicious vegetables with a slight kick. Zesty lemon pepper is also great on creamy vegan pasta dishes, like our dairy-free Mac Attack.
Salt Free Cajun Seasoning
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Familiarizing yourself with international seasonings without salt will keep you from getting bored in your salt free kitchen!
At first, salt free cooking may taste bland to you. But there’s good news: your taste buds actually adjust to salt-free cooking very quickly, within weeks. So cozy up to these spices and seasonings because soon enough, cooking without salt will become second nature to you.
By Ali Brown
Ali is a nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
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