Cutting Back on the Salt

I didn’t eat a lot of salt growing up. My type 1 dad had a heart attack when I was in kindergarten and my mom’s mother had a weak heart, so my mom rarely cooked with salt. If I wanted to put salt on my food, I had to ask my mom first. She’d sprinkle a few shakes of salt in my palm, then I’d sprinkle the salt over my food.

I grew up eating veggies, eggs, poultry and meat without adding salt, and that worked for me. I still ate food with salt - likecheese and chips, but for the most part, we were a low sodium household.

Replacing salt with other ingredients

After college I started embracing sea salt and that's what I cook with today - and not as sparingly as I once did. That worries me a little. So I’ve started cutting back on the salt, embracing “low salt” options and or replacing salt with other ingredients.

Instead of putting salt on my eggs, chicken breasts, or baked sweet potato, I top all of the above with a few tablespoons of salsa and go to town. It’s super tasty, I don’t miss the added salt (and yes, there is a little salt in the salsa) it's fat-free, low in calories and I’m adding healthy lycopene to my diet.

Everyone knows that garlic is super healthy for us (and yummy) but did you guys know that garlic, cumin, peppercorn, and cayenne not only add some snap to meals but are loaded with nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin A.

Tried and true: I still sprinkle a little salt in my hand before adding it to the dish I’m cooking. It makes me aware of how much salt I’m actually adding to my meal. It makes me think first and I know I use less. And it also makes me think of my mom.

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