Let’s be honest: there is a misconception that low-sodium meals, or meals low in salt, can be unappetizing and lack some serious flavor. You are probably thinking, “How can I possibly add any flavor to my meals while using less salt?” Well, there are plenty of methods and ingredients that help make meals taste great by using little to no salt at all. Whether you are looking to decrease your sodium intake for health reasons, or are curious and excited about cooking new recipes, let’s explore the different ways we can make tasty, low-sodium meals packed with flavor!
If you are considering changing your diet, it is important to get a clear picture of what your current diet looks like. However, this can be quite a challenging task. Try this challenge: list every single item and portion you consumed yesterday. That includes the bite sized candy in the afternoon, the teaspoon of sugar you added in your coffee, and the two slices of cheddar cheese in your sandwich. Relying on memory may not give you an accurate picture of your diet. This is why food diaries are ideal; they take memory out of the equation. Even better, 3-day recalls allow individuals to be able to record 2 weekdays, and a weekend, representing a complete picture of their diet. Additionally, 3-day recalls have been shown to be a more accurate picture of diet than a traditional food frequency questionnaire1.
Cooking at home is an excellent way to save money on food and can be beneficial to your health. When you cook at home you are able to adjust ingredients to meet your taste preferences and health needs.
Still, there can be barriers to cooking at home. Researchers found that university students were found to enjoy cooking and eating with roommates, but felt barriers to cooking included: limited culinary experience, limited access to healthy ingredients, limited finances, and limited time. 1
kale, there’s a new powerhouse green in town! Kale has long been the go-to
leafy green for healthy eaters, but research shows that the dandelion plant
(taraxacum officinale) may pack equal amounts of nutrients.1 The sustainability and weed-like
disposition of the dandelion is what makes it an intriguing option as a food
source. The dandelion plant grows easily in many climates and can readily be
found in urban settings.2 This
is no ordinary weed though, nutrient density testing shows high levels of B
vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, carotenoids, and xanthophylls.1,3 Some other greens still pack more
nutrient density than the dandelion, but those plants may not grow with the
same ease and likely cannot be harvested from the confines of your front yard!
does it mean to eat the rainbow? Eating the rainbow signifies eating a variety of
fruits and vegetables.1 All of the colors of fruits and vegetables
have different health benefits that may reduce your risk of diseases.2 Sweet potatoes have a deep orange
color, which is the pigment called beta-carotene.3 They are very
nutritious and they are also fat free, which means they also have no saturated
fat or trans-fat.4 Furthermore, they are low in calories and sodium,
with about 100 calories and 70 milligrams of sodium for one medium sweet
potato.4 Sweet potatoes can definitely sweeten up your life, and in
a healthy way!
Have you tried Zoodles, or also known as zucchini noodles?
Zoodles are made from spiralizing raw zucchini into spaghetti-like strands. Lower in calories, zoodles can be a gluten-free alternative to your traditional spaghetti1. A fresh and lighter version to traditional spaghetti2, zucchini noodles can be different and fun to make. Compared to spaghetti, zucchini noodles contains more vitamin A, C, B, potassium, and fiber3 and it is lower in calories than traditional spaghetti4. Best of all, increasing your vegetable intake may help lower blood pressure and prevent diabetes5, 6.This is also a great choice to increase your vegetable intake, get the most nutrients and vitamins, and maintain a healthy weight. Not ready to try it yet? Try mixing whole-grain spaghetti with zucchini noodles.Continue reading →
Chickpeas belong to the legume family, which includes a variety of beans, peanuts, soybeans, and lentils, but are sometimes referred to as “pulses.” Legumes are known to be an excellent dietary source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Chickpeas are a good source of important vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate, and vitamin A precursor B-carotene1. Traditional hummus is a nutrient-dense dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. To ensure you are getting a nutrient dense hummus, make it yourself with the ingredients listed above! Continue reading →
Honey is a natural product formed from the nectar of flowers by honeybees. It has widely been used for its therapeutic effect as well as nutritional purposes. It is primarily fructose and glucose, but also contains many amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Within the estimated 200 different substances that make up honey, they work together to create a synergistic antioxidant effect.1Continue reading →
Imagine sitting at work or in your first class of the day. It is early in the morning and you are still somewhat sleepy. All you can think of right now is how much you miss your bed. Suddenly, another thought pops into your head. The student (or co-worker) next to you is eating a breakfast wrap that smells really good. Your gut lets out a loud growl. Today, like other days, you skipped breakfast because you were rushing. As the clock ticks, you get hungrier and hungrier. Only 2 more hours until you have a break and you can go eat something! Continue reading →
From all the fruits, vegetables, and herbs that bloom this season, garlic is a beloved favorite. Most of us might like garlic for its sharp, savory taste but the qualities of garlic extend beyond its ability to season food. Garlic is a bundle of antimicrobial and antioxidant activity all at a very affordable price. With each bulb of garlic containing 10-12 cloves and costing about 79 cents, you are truly getting your money’s worth. In addition, garlic has a long storage life (3-5 months!) if kept in a cool, dry and dark place.1 Next time you mince a garlic clove to add to a dip, side dish, or soup, think of the following positive benefits garlic can have in your diet. Continue reading →