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Kaylor: Go easy on the salt

By Staff | Feb 20, 2015

Adults and children should reduce the amount of sodium in their diets to 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily (a total of 1 teaspoon of salt from all sources). People over age 51, African Americans and those with high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease should reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day.

10 Tips to Trim Sodium

Think fresh: Eat highly processed foods less often and in smaller portions. Ready-to-eat foods such as canned chili and soups often are high in sodium.

Enjoy home-prepared foods more often: Preparing your foods lets you limit the amount of salt that you add.

Fill up on veggies and fruits: Enjoy a vegetable or fruit at every meal. They are naturally very low in sodium.

Choose dairy and protein foods that are lower in sodium: Get your calcium from low-fat milk and yogurt more often than cheese. Choose fresh

beef, pork, poultry and seafood more often than sausage, bacon and luncheon meats.

Adjust your taste buds: Cut back on salt little by little. Your taste for salt will lessen as time passes.

Skip the salt: Use spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice to season foods. Try black or red pepper,

basil, curry, ginger or rosemary.

Read the label: Compare the amount of sodium listed on Nutrition Facts labels. Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium” or “no salt added.”

Ask for low-sodium foods when you eat out: Some restaurants will prepare lower-sodium foods at your request. Some will serve sauces

and salad dressings on the side, so you use less.

Pay attention to condiments: Choose lower-sodium ketchup and soy sauce when possible. Have a carrot stick instead of a pickle for a crunchy side dish.

Boost your potassium intake: Potassium may help lower your blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods include potatoes, tomato juice and sauce (choose lower-sodium versions), sweet potatoes, beans (white, lima, kidney), bananas, yogurt, orange juice and milk.

Homemade Meat Sauce

2 tsp. salad oil (such as olive, canola or sunflower oil)

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

1 pound lean (90 percent or leaner) ground beef

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

c. chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

tsp. salt (optional)

c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti

Rinse and prepare vegetables as indicated. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown, five to eight minutes. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon until no longer pink. Drain grease. Increase heat to high. Stir in tomatoes and cook until thickened, four to six minutes. Stir in parsley if desired and salt. Keep warm. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Serve the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with cheese.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 389 calories, 9 grams (g) of fat, 53 g carbohydrate, 28 g protein, 9 g fiber, 416 milligrams (mg) sodium and 709 mg potassium.

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

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