Well, I’ll be a salty dawg!
I have not been to see a doctor in more than a year – why should I? I feel great and have been doing most of the right things. I power walk most days, try to eat the ole Five a Day fruits and veges even though I mostly just choke them down, being a junk food junkie and all….
The real reason I haven’t been to a doctor is that my Daddy retired last year, and now I actually have to PAY for office visits. Nevertheless, I broke down and found myself a doctor in Starkville and went in for my first visit yesterday. I was stunned to learn that my blood pressure has crept up to dangerous levels. When did that happen? And why.
My new doc and I reviewed some of my habits and he diagnosed part of my problem as a “salty” one – I love all things hot and salty, as well as sweet and gooey. I’m especially fond of Tony Chacheres, and “doctor” everything with multiple “shakes.” He made a few suggestions any instructed me to clean up my act and come back in three months – if it’s down to normal levels, I won’t be forced to go on prescription drugs
In the meantime, I have to go to Wal-mart once a week and use their machine to check it out and send him my report card once a month. Why are all good things bad for you?
Step 1: Read, read, read.
Check all labels before food preparation so you know how much sodium you’re starting with.
- Try to stay below the limit of 1,500 milligrams per day.
- Always buy the low-sodium versions of prepackaged, frozen, canned, or jarred foods and sauces.
- Opt for fresh veggies over canned and retire the salt shaker permanently.
- Make things from scratch when you can, to control the sodium content.
- Step 2: Reduce, reduce, reduce.
How many ways can you cut the sodium from your food?
- Rinse canned foods before using.
- Don’t add salt to the water when you boil pasta or rice.
- Ditch the flavor packets that come with instant or prepared foods, and do your own seasoning.
- Choose fresh whole cuts of meat or fish over processed, pressed, cured, or canned.
Step 3: Season, season, season.
Get creative with fresh flavors so you won’t feel tempted to grab the saltshaker.
- Choose fresh herbs and salt-free spices instead of salt.
- Use herb- or citrus-infused oils, avocado mash, or malt or cider vinegars instead of salty condiments like barbecue sauce, ketchup, and soy sauce.
- Try oil with red wine vinegar or lemon juice instead of salty salad dressings.
- Season lean animal protein and veggies with onions, mushrooms, garlic, peppers, and other fresh, savory flavors.
- Stuff fresh, crunchy veggies into sandwiches or wraps, instead of pickles or olives.