Like many people, trying to cut down on hidden sodium in the foods we eat regularly can be difficult, just as it is for many lifelong habits.
We know the importance of cutting down on sodium for our heart health but don’t always know what to do first or even if we really want to give it up.
The easiest way to cut down the amount of sodium we eat is to remove the salt shaker from the table and eat foods without adding even more salt to them than what is already there.
However, avoiding the salt shaker isn’t always enough to lower our sodium intake because many of the foods we eat have sodium added during processing especially the condiments and sauces we pour over and dip into for more flavor!
Without paying strict attention to food labels to read the amount of sodium per serving, we may inadvertently be consuming as much as three times the recommended amount of sodium.
How Much Sodium Is Recommended?
The current guidelines for a healthy adult to consume is about 2,300 mgs of sodium per day. If you already have high blood pressure, the recommended intake drops to 1,500 mg/day.
Salt, which is the compound sodium chloride, contains 2,325 mg sodium per teaspoon.
Shaking the salt shaker on your food could be potentially adding as much as or more than the DAILY recommended amount. If you have added salt during cooking and then added more from the salt shaker, there is almost no doubt that you have eaten more than desired as the food itself may already contain sodium.
You can see why cutting down on the sodium in our diets can be difficult.
Making it Easier to Reduce Our Sodium
The problem with reducing our sodium intake is we want to have flavor in the food we eat so that we can enjoy eating. Our taste buds have been trained, typically from the time we are children, to find pleasure in familiar favorites and salty foods.
Our trained taste buds don’t mean we won’t enjoy eating lower sodium foods with new seasonings. It’s true the fresher the food we eat the more natural flavor we will find. It just takes a little ‘re-training’ of taste buds and food habits.
Finding new cooking methods, flavorful seasonings and fresher food choices will get your mouth zinging if you let it!
Homemade Lower-Sodium Condiments
Adding some homemade versions of your favorite condiments instead of the ones which often pack in added sodium without our knowledge, can help you re-train your tastes and give you the added flavor punch you seek at the same time you cut back the sodium.
Condiments already made such as ketchup and special dipping sauces have a good deal of sodium but we can make our own healthier versions using these recipes.
Wait until you see the difference in this Recipe Renovation™ comparison!
|Condiment||Standard Version||Recipe Renovation|
(1 Tablespoon serving)
160 mg Sodium
0 g Fat
17 mg Sodium
0 g Fat
|Special Dipping Sauce|
(2 Tablespoon serving)
224 mg Sodium
11 g Fat
96 mg Sodium
3 g Fat
Not only will you get less sodium overall and lower fat in the healthier versions, but you will get a bang of flavor too!
Making your own fresh versions will allow you to control the ingredients – spice it up or add a dash of your family’s favorite flavors! The taste will be at its peak when you make it and serve it instead of pulling a bottle out that has been sitting in the pantry for some time!
You have the added satisfaction of doing it yourself out of love!
Homemade Special Sauce for Dipping
½ cup Light Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Home-Style (Low Sodium) Ketchup
1 Teaspoons Pickle Relish
1 teaspoon Mustard
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Red Pepper (cayenne/chili)
Mix all ingredients together, keep refrigerated.
Makes 8 servings (2 Tablespoons each)
12 ounces Tomato Paste
½ cup Vinegar
½ cup Brown Sugar, unpacked
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 cup Water
Pinch each: Allspice, Cayenne Pepper, Ground Cloves
Process all ingredients together or use immersion blender until smooth.