The Salty Six

Out last blog about replacing cheese got us thinking. That trick reduced the saturated fat but a good amount of sodium, so was there other easy ways to reduce the sodium in our diet? With a little research, we found that an average person consumes 75% of their daily sodium through processed food. Also, the American Heart Association has a “Salty Six,” noted for the extraordinary work each does to create high sodium diets. Although it depends on your diet, these six food items give you an idea of where the average person consumes the majority of their sodium.

  1. Breads and Rolls Toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and a roll with dinner adds up to a sodium filled day.
  2. Cold Cuts and Cured Meats – Darn sandwich, why do you have to taste so good! One 2 oz. serving, or 6 thin slices, of deli meat can contain as much as half of your daily recommended dietary sodium. Look for lower-sodium varieties of your favorite lunch meats.
  3. Pizza – A slice of pizza with several toppings can contain more than half of your daily recommended dietary sodium.
  4. Poultry –  You will find a wide range of sodium in poultry products, so it is important to choose wisely.
  5. Soup – Sodium in one cup of canned soup can range from 100 to as much as 940 milligrams – more than half your daily recommended intake.
  6. Sandwiches – a sandwich or burger from a fast food restaurant can contain more than 100 percent of your daily suggested dietary sodium.

What can you do, especially for lunch – You can do things like, get the tuna fish that has “no salt added”, or look for the low-sodium turkey lunch meat, or buy your own chicken/turkey and bake it without salt and use that in sandwiches and soups. Baked goods because they have baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) are higher in sodium. So at snack time, if you opt for a piece of fresh fruit and some nut butter, or fresh veggies with hummus (even though the hummus tastes salty – 2 tbsp. has about 120 mg sodium vs. a medium bagel with more than 400 mg) you’ll get a lot less sodium, and more potassium both good for blood pressure.

Make Spicy Food Healthier, by Replacing the Cheese

Chicken Verde - Mobile

When our nutritionist, Laura, reviewed the Chicken Verde with Black Beans recipe, she shared how to reduce the saturated fat in spicy food recipes.

Sometimes spicier foods needs some fat to make them tasty and reduce the heat. To achieve this, many spicy foods are covered in cheese. Our original recipe called for a full cup of pepper jack cheese, which holds 5.4g of saturated fat per serving.

Laura adjusted the recipe, explaining how we can reduce the saturated fat and swap in a healthy fat – which is important for cholesterol levels.

How? With avocado! By replacing some or all of the cheese with avocado or guacamole, one can eat a much healthier meal, while still enjoying spicy food.

In the Chicken Verde recipe, this substitution reduced the saturated fat while adding another layer of flavor!

PS: By replacing cheese with avocado, we also reduced the sodium in the recipe!