Your Low Salt, No Salt, Salt Free Diet
These low salt diets or low sodium diets do not have to be bland but you need good quality salt free seasonings. The seasonings need to be fresh with good aroma and you need a variety of them.
You will be surprised how quickly you can become tired of the same flavors day in and day out, without salt.
But is salt needed for flavor?
What are the alternatives for a salt free diet?
A Low Salt Diet Needs The Right Salt Free Seasoning
You wouldn’t put the same seasoning on fish that you would put on a steak or in a curry.
Fish is more delicate and would need a lighter seasoning whereas a steak would need a stronger seasoning blend to get enough flavor to keep it from being bland. This is not to say you couldn’t use a grilling seasoning on both.
As a rule though, you will find that by using different salt free seasonings for different foods, you will achieve more flavorful results.
What’s interesting is that when you cook with salt, you can pretty much use the same seasonings year in and year out on everything and you are perfectly happy. This is because you are really just getting the salt taste with very little flavor. This is what you like because this is what your taste buds are used to. Take the salt out and the food will be bland and boring as everything starts tasting the same.
Learn To Cook Without Salt
Learning to live on a low sodium diet or a salt free diet is about getting the salt and sodium out of your food and getting flavor in.
Besides salt free seasonings, you will be adding more vegetables to your cooking like onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, chilies, etc.An assortment of fresh vegetables along with your salt free seasonings will add a lot of flavor. Don’t forget to use fresh garlic and you should always add some fresh herbs and freshly ground black pepper.
Try A Dry Rub Or Marinade
You can also sprinkle your salt free seasonings on the food and let it sit for a while. This is like having a dry marinade which you can rub into your meat. Traditionally a dry rub has salt and sugar but this does not have to be the case – a rub can be salt free. Using the dry rub technique gives the seasonings time to get into the food and not just sit on the surface.
Add a water or a little oil, (oil works better), to the seasonings and you have a paste. You can apply the paste to make a thicker layer of seasoning to the meat.
A Marinade For Added Flavor In A Low Salt Diet
You can also marinade your meats or vegetables. A marinade is really just using an acid like (wine, vinegar, or lemon juice), oil and seasoning.
A marinade does not have to have salt in it, it just needs to be full of flavor.
A marinade helps break down the tissue or fibers and lets the meat take in the flavors. A marinade also naturally tenderizes meats especially without salt.
Salt can actually draw out moisture.
Salting meat and dehydrating it is how jerky is made. This is also why many folks salt their eggplant – to draw out the moisture. You may actually notice a more tender meat or steak because you are not using salt.
A marinade can be used for 10 to 30 minutes or for the best results several hours or even leave overnight. You need to watch the marinating time when adding acid, especially fresh lemon or lime juice to fish because these will start to cook the fish. This is what is called ceviche.
By using really good salt free seasonings you’ll find a low sodium diet or salt free diet can be healthy, delicious and be a low sodium diet or low salt diet you can live with.
But Are Salt And Sodium The Same?
Sodium is an essential part of salt which is also known as sodium chloride, but sodium is also found in many other places.
Sodium is an alkali metal like potassium, and is not only used to flavor our foods, but also used as a preservative, a binder and a stabilizer.
It is therefore important to look beyond the food you are cooking and read the labels on processed food you are buying (including both the nutritional facts — where the amount of sodium in the product is listed — and the ingredients list) to see if they have added sodium to help the food last.
Salt is an obvious source of sodium, but also look for other forms, including any word or phrase that begins with ‘sodium,’ such as sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, sodium saccharin and sodium stearoyl lactylate among others. Also keep an eye open for sodium sources that may not be as obvious, such as disodium phosphate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and trisodium phosphate.
So Beware – a salt free diet may not be a sodium free diet and yet most of us would have believed they are the same thing!
Too Much Salt Increases Heart Disease Risks
It is true that people with increased risk of developing high blood pressure, or who are living with high blood pressure need to beware of their sodium intake and a salt free diet is often suggested.
A diet high in sodium can increase the risk of developing heart disease and kidney damage or suffering a stroke.
In a nutshell – we are getting too much salt!
But before you blame sodium for your cardiovascular disease you should consider other factors and look at including natural supplements to ensure your body remains in balance.
Common Salt Alternatives
- Celery Seed
- Fresh Herbs
- Lemon Juice
Salt free or no salt seasonings are the key to living on a low sodium or salt free diet.
Your Salt Free Diet