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Kaylor: Shake the salt habit

By Staff | Feb 13, 2015

Have you ever heard the expression, “They’re not worth their salt”? According to some historians, people once were paid with salt. That is where the word “salary” comes from. Fortunately, we are not paid in salt anymore.

These days, many of us get more salt than we need, and that’s not good for our hearts. Salt is made up of sodium and chloride. Diets with too much sodium can increase your risk of getting high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is considered the “silent killer” because you may have no symptoms. People with high blood pressure are at greater risk for having a stroke or heart attack.

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Potassium-rich Foods to Your Diet

Potassium-rich foods may help counteract the effects of sodium. Food labels are not required to list potassium, so consider adding more of the following foods to your diet:

Leafy greens, such as spinach

Fruits, such as prunes, bananas, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots

Vegetables, such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, potatoes and carrots

Fish, such as clams, halibut, tuna and trout

Potassium also is found in meat, milk and cereals, but the other sources are absorbed better.

Q: I have heard that sea salt and kosher salt contain less sodium than table salt. Is that true? – If you are measuring the salt in a teaspoon, the answer is “yes.” If you are weighing the salt on a scale, the amount of sodium will be very similar. Sea salt and kosher salt are made up of larger, more irregular-shaped particles than table salt. Therefore, you would have fewer grains of salt in your teaspoon when using sea salt or kosher salt and, therefore, less sodium.

Sea salt is used in some processed foods to reduce the amount of sodium they contain. Remember that all of these types of salt contain sodium and should be limited in your diet

From NDSU Extension Service Food Wise Julie Garden-Robinson, Food & Nutrition Specialist

Creamy Cucumber-Dill Dip

1 cup fat-free, plain yogurt

medium peeled, finely chopped cucumber

2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped dill (or 1 teaspoon dried dill)

2 tsp. minced onion

In a small bowl combine all ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate prior to serving. Use this dip for fresh veggie sticks (bell pepper slices, sliced squash, baby carrots, celery sticks, etc.) or as a creamy topping for grilled salmon or chicken.

13 calories, 16 mg sodium

From heart.org

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