Monday, April 5, 2021

Low sodium salt alternative diet food swaps for weight loss

 U.S. News and World Reports voted the low-sodium DASH diet best all-around weight loss plan in 2011. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet not only reduces high blood pressure, it helps people lose weight. But low salt foods are boring and bland, right? Not with these diet tips, cooking ideas and low sodium recipes, they're not.

* Diet tip--drink more water. It's not practical or healthy to cut sodium completely. Drinking water flushes excess salt that causes water retention. Order water at restaurants. Drinking water saves money, makes food taste better and aids digestion.

* Diet tip--beware of low-sugar, reduced-fat diet foods. Diet soda has high sodium. Low-fat and reduced-fats foods do too.

* Diet tip--read food labels for sodium content. I was shocked at sodium levels in canned food, snacks, vegetable juice and condiments. And that's added salt. Most of those foods are naturally salty, too. Choose low sodium varieties. They taste just as good (better, actually).

* Cook at home. Ever feel thirsty after eating restaurant food? That's because restaurants add more salt than most cooks do at home. Fast food is laden with sodium-boosters: animal fat, hydrogenated fat and MSG (monosodium glutamate). Buffets, especially Chinese, are salt mines. If you eat at restaurants, choose fresh vegetable entrees. At buffets, eat meatless Mongolian grill entrees (you add your own seasonings).

* Cook from scratch. Even organic, healthy, natural vegetarian and vegan packaged foods contain high sodium. That's because salt preserves. Cook fresh at home and control sodium.

* Cook with low-sodium seasonings. I'm not talking about artificial salt substitutes; I mean natural salt sources. Lemon juice, lime juice and vinegar (balsamic, pomegranate, cider, red wine) contain no salt. Their piquancy brings out food flavor. Bragg's Liquid Amino is a healthy soy sauce substitute.

* Replace salt with herbs and spices in recipes.</b> Add fresh-snipped home-grown herbs for low sodium recipes. Season poultry with sage, thyme and lemon balm. For pork, use rosemary and mint. Oregano and basil compliment beef, tomato dishes and pasta. Season fish with dill and mint. Garlic, onion, pepper and shallots are must-haves in low salt cooking. Try salt-free curry powder on vegetables and rice.

Take low sodium foods from bland to bodacious with these tips. Eating like this was how I lost 100 pounds. 

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