Taming Your Taste Buds

Enjoying what you eat is a top priority! Fortunately, healthful foods don't need to taste bland. And you don't need to give up your favorite high-sodium foods—-just eat them in moderation. Here's how:

  • Cut back on high-sodium foods gradually if you're accustomed to salty tastes. Because a preference for a salty taste is learned, it takes time to unlearn it, too— and to appreciate new flavor combinations.
  • Taste food before salting it. Maybe it tastes great just as it is! Keep the salt shaker in the kitchen cabinet, not on the stove or the table. Use it as needed—not just as a habit.
  • Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables. Most contain only small amounts of sodium (unless added in processing), and they're rich in potassium. Eat them as low-sodium snacks!
  • Choose foods within a food group that have less sodium, such as fresh meats, poultry, fish, dry and fresh legumes, unsalted nuts, eggs, milk, and yogurt. Plain rice, pasta, and oatmeal don't have much sodium, either. Their sodium content goes up only if high-sodium ingredients are added during prep.
  • Season with herbs, spices, herbed vinegars, herb rubs, and fruit juices instead of salt. "A Pinch of Flavor: How to Cook with Herbs and Spices" in chapter 13 offers many ways to use herbs and spices. Or prepare the easy blends on page 153 to keep on hand.
  • Prepare food with little salt or fewer high-sodium ingredients. For example, skip the salt in cooking water for pasta, rice, cereals, and vegetables. Salt toughens many vegetables, especially beans, as they're cooked. Salt draws water out of the plant cells. For

Look at the Differences

To eat less salt and sodium, fresh foods are an ideal choice. You can enjoy processed and prepared foods, too.

Some processed foods have more sodium than others: cured and processed meats; many canned foods such as legumes, vegetables, and fish; cheese; condiments; boxed convenience foods such as pasta mixes or rice side dishes; and salted snack foods. For many, you can find lower-sodium versions. Read Nutrition Facts on food labels to compare similar products.


2 oz. canned tuna

2 oz. low-sodium canned tuna

1 medium dill pickle 1 medium low-sodium dill pickle

3 oz. reduced-sodium ham 3 oz. lean pork loin

3 cups regular microwave popcorn 3 cups air-popped popcorn 3 cups salt-free microwave popcorn

1 oz. salted peanuts 1 oz. lightly salted peanuts

1 cup boxed convenience rice 1 cup plain brown or white rice seasoned with herbs

1 cup vegetable beef soup 1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable beef soup

V2 cup canned green beans V2 cup canned no-salt-added green beans V2 cup frozen green beans V2 cup fresh green beans

1 cup chicken broth 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Sodium (mg)

215 135

1,110 825 55

160-230 50


5 860

50 175

490-1,480 70

more ways, see chapter 13 on "Kitchen Nutrition: Delicious Decisions."

  • Balance: if you eat high-sodium foods occasionally, balance them by eating foods with less sodium. How much salt and sodium you consume over several days is what counts.
  • To buy processed and prepared foods with less sodium and salt, read Nutrition Facts on food labels. You'll find the sodium content in milligrams and the % Daily Value for sodium in a single label serving. The Daily Value is based on 2,400 milligrams of sodium for the day.
  • Scan the nutrient content claims on the front of food labels as you walk the supermarket aisles. From soup, canned fish, vegetables, and vegetable juice to crack ers, popcorn, and snack foods, you'll find a variety of food products described as "unsalted," "no salt added," "reduced sodium," "sodium-free," or "low in sodium." To learn what these words mean, see "Label Lingo: Salt and Sodium" later in this chapter.
  • Buy foods with less sodium. Try reduced-sodium products, which may offer more flavor than low-sodium products. They're still lower in sodium than the traditional versions.
  • Whether you eat in a sit-down or a fast-food restaurant, be sodium-conscious if you eat out regularly. See

"Eating Out" on page 154 for simple ways to cut back.

• Try lightly salted or unsalted nuts, popcorn, pretzels, and crackers if an urge for a salty flavor strikes.

Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies

Do You Want To Know About A Magical Drink? A Drink That Is A Refreshing Twist For Every Party! A Drink That Is Full of Nutrients And Energy! Green Smoothies A Perfect Blend of Fruits And Green Vegetables!

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment