Sunday, May 02, 2010

Herbs, Salt, and Salty Herbs~

Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause heart disease and other health problems. One major way to eliminate some issues is by reducing salt/sodium in your daily diet.

Table salt is made up of sodium and chloride. Salt and other sodium containing ingredients are often found in processed or packaged foods. Most of the sodium in our meals comes from processed foods.

Sodium is the part of salt that increases blood pressure. There is more sodium in salt than any other food that we eat. We eat salt because we are conditioned to think that it makes food taste better. In reality, if we allow a few days for our taste buds to adjust to "no salt" the real flavor of our foods become pronounced and is far more delicious to the taste than when it is salted, or too heavily salted.
The body needs sodium to hold water in the blood vessels. Sodium also regulates water balance in all parts of the body. If too much water is held in the body, the amount of blood increases. If it increases too much, problems will arise.
The increase in blood makes the heart work harder. The result can be high blood pressure. Other conditions, such as diabetes, can cause high blood pressure. The most common cause is eating too much salt/sodium. When high blood pressure is not controlled, it can lead to a heart attack, stroke or kidney disease.

So, it isn't a far stretch to realize eliminating as much salt as possible/and using the right kind of salt is a major "must do."

How much sodium is too much?
Health experts recommend 1,100 - 3,300 mg of sodium per day for healthy adults. Most people eat 2,300 to 6,900 mg per day. Some people are salt/sodium sensitive. African Americans, Hispanics, and obese individuals among that group.

One teaspoon of salt contains 2,000 mg of sodium.

The following suggestions can help lower salt intakes:

Eat fewer salty snacks such as potato chips, nuts, cheese and pretzels.

Read the "Nutrition Facts" panel on food labels to see how much sodium you are eating. Read the label. ( this applies to all foods )
Look for the words, low-salt or reduced-sodium on products to replace those with high salt.

Use fresh or frozen vegetables instead of high sodium canned

Avoid pickled products like sauerkraut, deli meats, sausages and canned fish. (sauerkraut has awesome pro biotic benefits )so it isn't all bad. )
Use herbs and spices like garlic powder, thyme, oregano, and basil to flavor food and use less salt.

Season meat with lemon juice, bay leaf, crushed red pepper and rosemary.

Season chicken with sage,( seasoned vinegar, us sparingly ) and ginger.

Limit the use of high-salt soy sauce, meat tenderizers, seasoned salt, and Worcestershire.
This is a wonderful recipe for a Salt substitute...make it yourself or purchase it from Sage Hill Farms website. ( click on the blog title )

Salt-Free Herb Blend
Use this blend on food you would normally use salt. Fill the salt shaker and shake until your heart is content. ( It's all good )

5 teaspoons onion powder
2-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2-1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional*)

Combine ingredients and mix well. Spoon into a shaker. Makes 1/3 cup.

*Fiery spices do not raise blood pressure. A small amount of ground red pepper can enhance the flavor of food without making it taste too hot.

* Tip* A small dash of Cayenne pepper into a cup of hot chocolate is amazingly delicious.!
~ do opt for salt , know that all salt is not created equally.

Table salt... is the worst of them all for health purposes. The reason is...the crystals are small and don't dissolve, demanding more and more to get "the" taste. a granular salt that's pressed together. ( under a microscope each grain resembles an ancient pyramid....stacked cubes that have weathered.
The design is what makes it a good dissolves easily and imparts plenty of flavor without over-doing. ( Has not been processed or altered with additives, etc.)

( Kosher salt is the salt of choice in the test kitchens at " Cuisine At Home." ( also a staple in the "Sage Hill House" kitchen.....along with a variety of Sea salts.

Experiment, and discover the real flavor of your favorite foods~

Bea Kunz

1 comment:

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Bea,
I buy several kinds of salt free season blends, but also use my own fresh herbs a lot. I printed out your recipe to try. That looks good.