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By: Candance Gabel, MS, RD, LD, Associate State Nutrition Specialist, Family Nutrition Education Program, College of Human and Environmental Sciences, Nutritional Sciences Department, Adapted from: The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide
  • Eat plenty of fresh and frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables. If canned vegetables are used, rinse them under running water for two to three minutes prior to cooking. Rinsing canned vegetables will decrease the sodium content by approximately 40 percent.
  • Season with herbs, spices, herbed vinegar, herb rub and fruit juices. Or, prepare your own easy, salt-free herb blends. (See recipes below.)
  • Read the "Nutrition Facts" information on the label to find the sodium content of a packaged food. You will find the sodium content in milligrams for a single serving. The "% Daily Value" (sometimes shown as "% DV") for sodium is also given. The amount is based on 2,400 milligrams of sodium for the day.
  • Choose low-sodium products. Read the label and look for words such as, "unsalted," "no-salt-added," "reduced sodium," "sodium-free" or "low in sodium."
  • When eating out, taste your food before you add salt. Better yet, request that foods be prepared without added salt.
  • Ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side, since they are often high in sodium. For a salad, use a twist of lemon, a splash of vinegar or a light drizzle of dressing.
  • Weight reduction will help lower blood pressure. To help decrease calories from fat, consume low-fat or fat-free products.
  • Consume adequate calcium by including low-fat dairy products in your diet three times per day.
  • Take a walk for 20 to 30 minutes on most days of the week. Increasing your activity will improve your overall sense of well-being as you lower your blood pressure.

Salt-Free Herb Blends

Directions: Combine the ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly and shake. Keep in a cool, dark, dry place. Use in place of commercial mixes. Yield: 1/2 cup

Chinese Five-Spice: Blend 1/4 cup ground ginger, 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon each of ground allspice and anise seeds, and 2 teaspoons ground cloves.

Mixed Herb Blend: Blend 1/4 cup dried parsley flakes, 2 tablespoons dried tarragon, 1 tablespoon each of dried oregano, dill weed and celery flakes.

Italian Blend: Blend 2 tablespoons each of dried basil and dried marjoram, 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder and dried oregano, and 2 teaspoons each of thyme, crushed dried rosemary and crushed red pepper.

Curry Blend: Blend 2 tablespoons each of turmeric and ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons each of ground cardamom, ground ginger and black pepper, and 1 teaspoon each of powdered cloves, cinnamon and ground nutmeg.

Mexican Chili Blend: Blend 1/4 cup chili powder, 1 tablespoon each of ground cumin and onion powder, 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, garlic powder and ground red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Greek Blend: Blend 3 tablespoons each of garlic powder and dried lemon peel, 2 tablespoons dried oregano and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

Easy Dip Blend: Use to mix with cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese or low-fat sour cream. Blend 1/2 cup dried dill weed and 1 tablespoon each of dried chives, garlic powder, dried lemon peel and dried chervil.

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Cancer  Diabetes  Heart Disease  Hypertension 
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last updated: 10/27/08
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