We all need to lower our sodium intake. When 90 percent of Americans get more than twice the daily recommendation of sodium, something's gotta give. With that large intake of sodium comes higher blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. It's true that sodium in small amounts is healthy for the body; sodium helps transmit nerve impulses and balance fluids in the tissues. But the fact remains that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Whether you're vigorously shaking salt on your morning eggs or eating too much processed food, sodium has charged head first into the modern diet.
Don't be wary about losing flavor when forgoing the salt. Adding herbs and spices instead means improved flavor and better metabolism, plus it means garnering antioxidants and key vitamins we need to live healthily.
>> Not convinced? Read about these 4 reasons you should probably cut down on the salt!
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute published this list of herbs and spices that can be used in all of your recipes instead of salt. Included in the list are some fan favorites: garlic, basil, rosemary, dill weed, and curry powder. You can also consult the Skinny Mom list of herbs and spices next time you're about to venture into the great spice unknown.
Ready for some recipes that are chock-full of herbs and not full of salt?
Skinny Tilapia Lettuce Wraps: Instead of flavoring the tilapia with regular table salt, this recipe uses a variety of good herbs and spices: cilantro, which is high in antioxidants like beta-carotene, black pepper, and garlic, which has antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties! Get the full recipe here!
Asian Slaw: Serve this on top of baked fish or grilled chicken, or eat it as a regular salad. Using rice vinegar, ginger and garlic, this is a quick dish that boasts a very low sodium content! Full recipe here!
Skinny Shepherd's Pie Need we say more? Spicy mashed potatoes top this recipe off, with blends of cumin and cinnamon packing a wealth of flavor. Use more chipotle peppers and garlic in the mashed potatoes instead of salt to lower the sodium content even more! Click here for the recipe.
Spinach Basil Pesto: Feel no shame for slathering this pesto on everything! Without any added salt, this recipe combines lots of basil (which is full of antioxidants and vitamin C), spinach and pine nuts, which are rich in protein and nutrients. Check it out here!
While you're busy tricking your tastebuds with natural herbs, your heart and cholesterol levels will seriously be thanking you! Continue spicing up your kitchen and playing around with different herb mixtures. Find the ones that are right for you and never go back to handfuls of table salt again!