Getting adjusted to a low sodium diet can leave you feeling
like all your food is flavorless and bland. Sometimes this is a deterrent and
people quickly give up on their healthy eating goals and return to their old
eating habits. Before you pull your salt shaker back out of the cabinet, it’s
important to learn more about getting adjusted to a low sodium diet.
One really important thing to keep in mind, is that salt is
a learned taste preference, meaning that you can retrain your taste buds to
like and enjoy foods that are lower in sodium. Being patient with your diet
change is important because it can take time for you to get adjusted to
appreciating the natural flavors of your food. Trust me, after some time on a
low sodium diet you will really be able detect high salt foods. Possibly foods
you don’t eat frequently suddenly taste much saltier than you remember.
One of the bests ways
to decrease the amount of sodium you consume daily is to reduce your intake of
highly processed foods. Reaching for more fresh foods and cooking from scratch
will help to significantly lower your sodium intake. But the flavor may still
be lacking, so here are some ways to add flavor without sodium:
1. Add aromatics - Onions, garlic, and
shallots can significantly increase the flavor of any dish. Increasing any of
these ingredients in a recipe will lend big taste without missing the salt.
2. Complement with citrus -Lemon, lime, or
orange juice added to fish, chicken, sauces, or marinades can brighten up the
flavor and add a new dimension to your cooking. The acidity offers a natural
3. Enhance with Herbs (and spices) - An obvious
way to flavor food is to use herbs and spices. It is important to remember that
using these will not make your food taste like they have added salt, but will
lend additional flavor to otherwise bland and boring food. Mrs. Dash or other
no-salt seasoning blends are a perfectly acceptable addition as well. Be sure
to avoid garlic salt or onion salt and watch out for seasoning blends that are
not labeled no-salt!
4. Variety of vinegars -Every type of
vinegar has a slightly different flavor profile, making them a great option to not get bored of the same flavors. Try apple cider, Balsamic, rice, or
wine vinegar in different dishes.
5. Herb-infused oils - now with this one we need to be mindful of portion control as oils can be calorie-dense. But a little drizzle of herb-infused oil can go a long way on vegetables, rice, past, or any protein food. .
The majority of Americans eat more sodium than we need. The
recommendations for most people is to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of
sodium per day. Limiting highly
processed foods and replacing your salt shaker with any of the options above
will help you to stay within these guidelines without missing the flavor.