Lauren here, and you know that I love to eat healthy! One of the ways that I make sure that I am eating a healthy diet is by consuming only the recommended daily amount of sodium or salt. Do you know how much sodium you consume everyday?
Check out this chart below:
According to the CDC (center for disease control and prevention) Americans eat too much sodium, commonly consumed as salt. The average American consumes almost 3,500 mg of salt everyday, when we should really be taking in no more than 2,300 mg a day or 1 teaspoon a day.
There are quite a few benefits to having a low sodium diet:
- lower blood pressure
- can reduce cardiovascular disease
- helps lower cholesterol
- reduce risk of chronic liver disease
- reduce risk of heart attack and stroke
How do you know if you are consuming too much sodium?
One way to find out is to take the Sunkist Sodium Quiz from Sunkist on Facebook to find out where you fall on the sodium scale based on your daily food choices.. Whether it turns out you’re a Serial Salt Offender or a Sodium Smarty, you’ll learn new tips on how to use Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt.
In case you are wondering, here are my quiz results. Not too bad. And I promise I didn’t cheat!
Most food includes “hidden salts” that can be dangerous to your health. A few things you may not have thought about, in regards to sneaky sodium:
- Deli meats like turkey and ham (and especially more processed ones like salami and pepperoni) often have a lot of salt added to them during their processing. Cooking a turkey breast or a ham yourself, and slicing it for sandwiches or snacks is a better option.
- Pre-prepared foods like frozen dinners, even “healthy” ones, often have a high sodium content because it adds flavor stripped out due to processing and it’s also a preservative.
- Cooking from scratch will significantly reduce incidental sodium from overly-processed foods, but you still need to be aware of the ingredients you’re using! If you use cheese in a quiche, for example, you probably don’t need to add any salt, because most cheeses have a lot of salt in them already. Or if you make a stir-fry with soy sauce, it’s going to be plenty salty without any additional salt from your shaker.
- Restaurant foods (from chain restaurants or fast food) are some of the most sodium-laden foods you’ll encounter. If you’re out to eat, put the salt shaker down. Or on the table beside you. It doesn’t need it. And be sure to drink lots of water.
So a great way to avoid TOO MUCH salt even in your home cooking, is to use Sunkist lemons for their bold fresh flavor. Using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to salt can help reduce sodium, increase potassium, and enhance the flavor of recipes. Sunkist S’alternative
Here is a delicious low sodium recipe that you could try:
Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella
Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)
*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 teaspoon saffron threads
*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
*cup chopped fresh parsley
*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice
*3 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 _ cups minced onion
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*teaspoon crushed red pepper
*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
*1 cup frozen green peas
*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers
• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring
How do you try to avoid excess sodium in your diet? What do you love to cook with lemons?