Last time, we examined the effects of consuming too much sodium in the body. Let’s dig a little deeper. Having salt in our diets is not a bad thing and is also unavoidable.  Rather, it is the amount of salt people eat in a day that is unhealthy. Many people think that cooking without salt will result in bland food.  Yet, I rarely cook with salt and my foods offer incredible flavor.  I use many herbs and spices to add that punch, making salt unnecessary and my body fitting in my clothes without that bloated feeling.

Several store-bought foods contain more than enough salt already, prior to preparation,  including smoked or cured meats, cheeses, and pastas, to name a few. When cooking with foods high in sodium, such as these, try flavoring with herbs and spices instead of adding extra salt. Trust me, you won’t even miss the salt!

If you do happen to eat a meal high in sodium, you will retain water and likely be very thirsty. Eat a banana or drink milk to counteract the sodium. Also, eating parsley or drinking tea acts as a natural diuretic to rid the body of excess sodium.

Additionally, most would think that store-bought dressings are good for you, especially if the bottle says “fat free” on them.  Wrong!!!! They are loaded with salt, sugar, and other ingredients that we do not need. All “fat free” products strip the fats and replace them with sugars. Why not make your own homemade salad dressings instead? Not only will you know what you’re putting in them, it will save you money as well! If you are unable to make an item at home, the “light” and  “reduced fat” options are the healthier way to go.

Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients

1-2 cloves grated/finely chopped garlic

1-2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium)

¼ cup vinegar

1 finely chopped/grated shallot (optional)

½ lemon

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

ground black pepper to taste

 

Preparation

  1. Whisk garlic, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, shallot (optional), lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper in a bowl. Makes roughly 1 cup.

 

Alternatives

Original Ingredient:

Replace With:

garlic cloves

⅛ – ¼ tsp garlic powder or ½ tsp minced garlic

soy sauce

gluten- free soy sauce, tamari sauce, teriyaki sauce, or nama shoyu

vinegar

balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or any type of vinegar

shallot

¼ onion

lemon

lime

 

Tips

– Simply grate garlic with a zester/grater to make garlic paste.

– For an alternate way to make garlic paste, peel and finely chop garlic.  Add a pinch or two of salt on top of garlic and rub garlic repeatedly with sides of knife.

– Rub fingers on stainless steel underneath water to remove garlic smell from hands.

– Mashing/cracking garlic first allows for easier peeling