Skip to main content

Herbs and Spices Make Great Salt Substitutes


It’s been a general rule of thumb; less salt = lower blood pressure. So, why is it so difficult to use less of it at the table and in cooking? My guess is that we’re afraid to miss out on flavor. So, to avoid salt without sacrificing flavor, I have listed some of my tried and true remedies for you to add to your pantry. However, don’t be afraid to experiment with making your own seasoning blends. Just be sure to share your favorite blends with me.


Chinese five-spice blend for chicken, fish, or pork
Combine ¼ cup ground ginger, 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground cloves, and 1 tablespoon each ground allspice and anise seed.

Mexican blend for chili, enchiladas, and tacos
Combine ¼ cup chili powder; 1 tablespoon each ground cumin and onion powder; 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper; and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.

Mixed herbs for salads, steamed vegetables, or fish
Combine ¼ cup dried parsley, 2 tablespoons dried tarragon, and 1 tablespoon each dried oregano, dill weed, and celery flakes.

Hidden salt
In this age of tricky consumer marketing, it is doubly important to always check the nutrition labels of prepackaged foods for the amount of sodium it contains. Salt is commonly added as a preserving or flavoring agent in frozen entrees, luncheon meats, canned vegetables, and even frozen chicken and turkey breasts. So be careful!

Condiments like soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, pickles, MSG (monosodium glutamate), and some prepared seasonings typically contain lots of salt. Not to mention that restaurant and fast foods are notorious for containing high levels of salt.

Sodium causes the body to retain fluid, and this fluid retention is a major contributor to high blood pressure. Excessive water also means excessive body weight and inflammation that can produce physical pain. Experts recommend adults over forty limit daily sodium levels to 2,300 milligrams per day — the equivalent of about 1 tsp. of table salt. However, a lower sodium level — 1,500 mg a day — is appropriate for people 51 years of age or older, and individuals of any age who have already developed hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

I know this doesn’t seem like much salt to work with, but that's because we have become so accustomed to the flavor of excessive salt in our foods. Once your palate has had a hance to re-adapt, you will begin to enjoy the actual flavor of the foods you are eating and the combinations of seasonings that naturally enhance the dining experience.

Stay fit. Eat healthy, and Always – Enjoy Your Life.

John Aaron Villarreal


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Benefits of Regular Massage Sessions

Once people discover the many joys and benefits of massage, a common question arises—“How often should I schedule my massage sessions?”

Of course, there is no set answer, but studies indicate that massage at regular intervals is most beneficial to your overall health.

In a Newsweek article entitled “The Magic of Touch,” the advantages of frequent massage are considered. The following excerpts help to answer the question, “How often?”

“A weekly massage may seem an indulgence, but new research suggests it can have major health benefits...

“Since instituting a program of massage, job-specific exercises and ergonomics in 1990, the Virginia-based company [Wampler Foods] has cut repetitive-stress injuries by 75 percent...

“From assembly lines to corporate headquarters, Americans are discovering the magic of massage. At Boeing and Reebok, headaches, back strain and fatigue have all fallen since the companies started bringing in massage therapists...

Doctors have started prescribing massage …

Simple Steps to Spring Forward Toward Fitness

Daylight savings time is a sure reminder that spring is just around the corner and there WILL eventually be an end to the winter weather. And while much of the country still dealing with bitter cold, here in Houston, we’re definitely ready for the warmer days. In fact, this is the time of year when you’ll find many of us increasing our outdoor activities and all too often push ourselves a little too hard. Unfortunately, what can result is often a few days of painful recovery time.

So, I've got a short list of suggestions to consider as you pursue your favorite warm-weather pastimes this season:

First, increase your activity level gradually— Pay attention to your body’s signals so you can avoid serious injury and don’t have to pay the painful price of overindulgence. Start slowly and do a little more each day and you’ll be up to speed in no time.

Warm up— Plunging into activity before you get your body warmed and ready is inviting potential trouble. Avoid possible sprains, torn liga…

Not tonight… I've got a headache.

Headaches… the perfect way to ruin a romantic rendezvous. No? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would talk about headaches and suggest ways to prevent this trouble maker from ruining not only your love life, but your daily life, too.

According to Web MD, 30 to 80% of the adult Americans suffer from occasional tension headaches. Some of these may have hereditary causes, while others can be caused by lifestyle or environment, such as poor posture, unhealthy eating habits, a high stress job, or a demanding home life. Any combination of stress-inducing factors could become the trigger, really.

That said, massage therapy may be your best secret weapon to keep headaches at bay. At the very least, massage therapy can help you deal with the pain while you determine the best approach to maneuvering through the mitigating factors that might be causing your headaches.

But don’t just take my word for it…

According to The American Journal of Manipulative Physiological and T…