In a study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, it was suggested that spending time preparing and cooking meals at home is linked with better dietary habits. If you’re finding it difficult to cook low sodium or salt-free meals, there are lots of easy tricks that can help you put together flavorful but healthy meals in a heartbeat. So bring out the Tupperware and let’s get started!
Schedule Your Meal Prep
Take a look at your week’s schedule so that you can plan a good time to 1) plan your meals for the week 2) grocery shop and 3) cook your meals.
Plan Your Meals
Take some time to think about incorporating potassium-rich foods while excluding processed foods, such as breads and deli meat. Create a list. Determine what your goals are for lowering your salt. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mgs a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day. If your doctor has made a specific recommendation, follow that! Use this sodium tracker from the American Heart Association to plan out how much sodium you’ll be consuming in the week.
Shop for Ingredients
Buy what’s on your list! Don’t be distracted by that bag of chips while waiting in line. Check the labels! If you’re looking to just cut back on salt, buy products with less than 120 mg sodium per 100g. Your list should include unsalted nuts, uncooked grains (rice, quinoa, oats), dried lentils, beans, fresh fruit, fresh herbs, fresh meat & fish, unsalted butter, and of course, Doc’s Salt Free Hot Sauce.
Remember that there are many other words for salt
When you check the labels, look out for these sneaky words:
- Rock salt
- Sea salt
- Onion salt
- Garlic salt
- Chicken salt
- Celery salt
- Meat or yeast extract
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Baking powder
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Sodium metabisulphate
- Sodium nitrate/nitrite
- Stock cubes
- Anything with sodium in the word
In addition, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with these sodium-related terms:
- Sodium-free – Less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving and contains no sodium chloride
- Very low sodium – 35 milligrams or less per serving
- Low sodium – 140 milligrams or less per serving
- Reduced (or less) sodium – At least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level
- Light (for sodium-reduced products – If the food is “low calorie” and “low fat” and sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving
- Light in sodium – If sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving
Season meat several ways with just one pan
Food without salt may seem bland so boost your taste buds by preparing two or three varations of meat at once, using foil dividers in your pan. Doc’s Hot Sauce Free Hot Sauce, oregano, celery or orange and lemon peel – use it all!
Chop Fruits and Veggies in Bulk
When you get hungry, it’s easy to be lazy and grab whatever is at hand. So cut veggies and fruits in bulk ahead of time. Veggies like carrots, onion, and pepper can last up to a week when refrigerated properly in Tupperware.
Create healthy oatmeal jars
This is one of the biggest trends right now. Fiber-rich foods like oatmeal can leave you feeling full. Just be sure to get plain oats for a sodium free diet! Add dried fruit, seeds, and nuts for extra health benefits.