Products That Make Low Sodium Foods Taste Better
If you want to create tasty, heart-healthy meals, you need to use products that will enhance flavor while keeping sodium counts low.
This is not always easy to do, but fortunately companies have begun to produce items that when used properly can take bland foods and turn them into truly enjoyable dishes.
Through research as well as trial and error, I have managed to find several items that work well, so I want to share this information with others who, like my husband and me, are forced to limit their sodium intake.
Substitute Products That Add Flavor
It turns out that much of the taste problem was not within the food itself but in what you put on it. So if you learn how to make substitutions for some of these items, you can eat quite well.
For example, a baked potato has relatively little sodium (17.3 mg). However, if you add 1 tbsp of butter (101 mg of sodium) and 1 tsp of salt (2235 mg of sodium), you end up eating 2336 mg of sodium instead of 101 mg!
To eliminate this problem, all you have to do is substitute sour cream for the other ingredients. It may not be a perfect alternative, but it is one that will add flavor to the potato where there was none before! It also is relatively low in sodium.
I have found the product made by Heinz to have the lowest sodium count of any I've seen. It tastes amazingly good and can be used to flavor dishes such as eggs, rice and oven baked french fries. Frankly, I prefer it over regular ketchup because it tastes so good!
How to Buy Low Sodium Foods
When buying low sodium ketchup, you have to read the labels carefully because definitions of “low sodium” can vary greatly and some of these products don't taste very good.
For example, one brand that I found in a local store only reduces sodium by 50%, but the one I chose to use is a true no-salt added ketchup that also tastes good.
It only has only 5% sodium per tbsp and is relatively inexpensive
Taste is important to note when talking about low-sodium foods because some really taste horrible! I bought some salt-free potato chips the other day to try them out, and they tasted so bad that I had to throw them out!
You can’t know, of course, what a food will taste like just by reading the label. Thus the best thing is either to ask others on low-sodium diets about the seasonings they use or buy just a small amount to see if it will work for you.
If you search around you can find other no salt added condiments you can use to flavor the foods you eat.
Using them will keep you on track and help you to feel that you are not depriving yourself.
Use Fruit and Veggies with Pasta
Rice and pasta are both bland tasting. However spaghetti, butter and salt are not heart healthy.
Therefore, it is important to find other foods that compliment these two dishes.
To do this you can use fruit and light syrup on rice and any type of juicy vegetable (such as lightly cooked tomatoes" on pasta. You can also add a very small amount of Parmesan cheese and butter to the pasta to perk it up a bit.
These meals are easy to prepare are filling and taste good.
Low Sodium Salsa
This product does not advertise itself as being low sodium, but it has only 40 mg per tbsp of sodium and tastes great. That is 74mg less of sodium in the same amount of other salsas, and this product can be used in the same ways.
A delicious and easy recipe that I use it with is to make some rice, then brown a pound of turkey burger with half of a chopped white onion, add a can of low-sodium black beans (or make the beans from scratch to have zero sodium) and about 4 tbsp of salsa for flavoring.
I serve the mixture over the rice, and it makes enough to serve 4 people! It’s also very easy to make.
- The best news is that there are only 2 mg of sodium in the rice,
- 64 mg of sodium in the ground turkey,
- 160 mg of sodium in the salsa,
- 260 mg of sodium in one cup of low-sodium black beans and
- 0 fat and 0 sodium in the white onion.
So for a total of 486 mg of sodium and 9.4 g of fat I can serve a great meal for less than 122 mg of sodium and just over 2 g of fat! For half as many mg you can make the beans from scratch!
Without the salsa, this meal would be bland and without the black beans, it wouldn’t have the correct taste, but the combination of these products makes all the difference.
I would warn you to check the labels on the beans carefully as some low-salt brands are much higher in sodium than others. For example, Bush’s low-sodium black beans have 240mg per half cup which is twice what the average low-sodium canned black beans have in them.
Another trick that will make a heart-healthy diet more amenable is to finish off each meal with a low-sodium snack.
makes a great chocolate covered cookie that meets this guideline and certain brands of low-fat chocolate yogurt do the same. We enjoy these desserts regularly without having to worry about the sodium count because it is so low! The cookies are 25 mg each and the yogurt is 55 mg per half cup. Snackwells
I have yet to find another cookie that tastes so good and is so safe to eat!
The trick is to limit the amounts of these items that you eat. You want that taste of sweetness, but not enough to break your diet!
Clancy’s low-sodium popcorn and potato chips, as well as salt-free pretzels, also make good snacks, as do any type of fresh fruit.
You can find lots of ideas for low-fat, low-sodium dining on Pinterest, but the easier you keep the cooking, the more likely you are to continue to eat well.
A delicious crock pot meal consists of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cleaned and rough cut fresh carrots and cleaned and quartered potatoes covered with sugar free syrup Just throw it all in the pot with some water in the morning and you'll have a complete meal by dinner time.. Easy to make, and good for you, too!
A Final Word
As you can see, it only takes a few of the right products coupled with some easy to prepare recipes to help you enjoy low sodium foods.
You don’t have to pay a fortune or spend hours in the kitchen creating complicated meals. You just have to use some common sense and keep a good attitude.
Learning to use products especially made for low sodium diets in a way that substitutes them for more dangerous foods is the best way to enjoy eating and stay healthy.
Do you think these ideas will help you to enjoy low sodium eating?
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Sondra Rochelle