Smarten Up: Cutting Back on Salt

We've all heard it before: a diet high in sodium is dangerous for our health. So when cooking at home, there are little steps we can take to reduce our intake of salt at the table. But what about when eating out or buying packaged foods at the grocery store?

Sure we love a sprinkle of sea salt on our eggs just like the next person. And you simply need salt to season many recipes and amp up certain flavor profiles. But, like with anything, moderation is key. So what's a salt-loving cook to do?

In her recent article for NPR, April Fulton largely discusses avoiding processed foods but she also has a few interesting at-home suggestions. She discusses how folks can try and cut out salt altogether for three weeks and then slowly add it back in. This will recalibrate the taste buds, so a little salt will start to go a very long ways. She also mentions adding salt to the finished product instead of using it throughout the cooking process.

Other Helpful Tips:
• Use unsalted butter in baking to control the amount of salt in the final product.
• Get excited about spices, and start to rely on them instead of salt. Experiment with Hungarian paprika, garlic, and interesting ground peppers.
• Get acquainted with unsalted nuts for snacking, cooking, and baking. You'll start to appreciate their natural flavors more than just what they're seasoned with.
• Read labels on lunch meats and cheeses: there's often an incredible amount of unexpected sodium in these sandwich-ready products.

What are Your Tips?

Related: How Can We Make Flavorful Meals Without Salt?

(Image: Flickr member Too Far North licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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