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Instead of asking your dinner guest to pass the salt, try asking him to pass the herbs. Cooking herbs, that is. Sodium has been a salty topic. Recently with the revised 2010 dietary guidelines, Americans are recommended to eat less and less salt. The current recommendations are 1500 milligrams and no more than 2300 milligrams per day (that’s about only 1 teaspoon of salt). As we know, sodium can be found in many processed, canned, and packaged foods since it acts as a preservative and provides flavor.
When we cook at home, we can reduce our salt intake by adding flavors in other ways such as using herbs! Here are some common herbs and ideas on how to use them to flavor it up.
Basil, Cilantro, Mint, Parsley (Flat-leaf or Italian), and Rosemary are some one of the most popular herbs in the United States. These herbs have various vitamins ranging from A, C, and K. Some herbs have been known to have different beneficial aspects such as having anti-inflammatory effects which may assist with reducing arthritis or irritable bowel conditions. Some herbs help stimulate digestion. While other herbs may prevent colon, skin, and lung cancers.
So how do we get the herbs into our dishes? Here are some suggestions:
To sum it up: herb it up and save the salt shake for another bake.
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, is a nutrition coach at Eating Free who cooks with love and loves to eat.
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