Since long before the birth of Jesus, salt has been an extremely important and sought after substance. It is necessary for health and it is used to preserve foods and to season them. The problem is that most people consume far too much salt in today’s world, particularly in developed countries.
Most premade and packaged foods contain salt, both for flavor and to help preserve the food. Salt is then often added during and/or after cooking, which increases the amount that is used. The issue is with the sodium that salt contains, though. Too much sodium can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, people should not eat more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, for an average diet. Our body normally doesn’t require more than 500 mg of sodium daily. This is a little more than the amount of sodium in a half teaspoon of salt.
Several medical organizations have said that the average intake of sodium in the US is nearly 3,500 mg. This means that the average person consumes more than twice the maximum amount of sodium they should consume and seven times more than they actually need.
The good news is that there are several salt substitutes that can be a huge aid in lowering the amount of salt that we consume every day. For instance, rosemary, sage, basil, and thyme all tend to satisfy the desire for salt. The fresh herbs are better at this than the dried ones, but many stores now sell small quantities of fresh herbs in the produce section and most herbs are easy to grow.
Onions, chives, garlic, and leek all also help with the sodium problem, because of the substances they contain.Cayenne pepper and crushed chili peppers can also help.
Using sour juices like vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice and grapefruit juice also help with the craving for salt.
One of the best salt substitutes is also one of the least used: Kelp. This is dried and ground for use. Dried kelp is now easier to find and purchase in supermarkets.
The biggest way to control your sodium intake, though, is to buy less packaged and premade foods. When you buy these, you have no control over the amount of salt that has been added. Whenever possible, learn to make homemade equivalents. This can go a long way toward controlling your sodium intake.
It is also worthwhile to increase your intake of potassium. Sodium is needed for proper nerve function. However, without potassium, there can be a large and unhealthy imbalance.
This is why it is very true that homemade food tastes better than store-bought and is so much healthier for you.
Salt is needed in our diets, but most people eat far too much salt. This isn’t healthy. However, there are ways to lower your salt and sodium intake.