I love salty snacks! Time to curb salt cravings and cut back on this indulgence.
Many people see this as a necessary part of life, after all these over laden foods are everywhere and you can't sit down to a meal without a salt shaker being there. But when we over sue something, and it's not healthy to do so, then I call it an indulgence.
We need a particular amount of salt on a daily basis, but it is easy to consume too much. Too much salt, or sodium chloride, can cause a variety of health issues. Many of the foods that contain large amounts of salt also contain other harmful ingredients as well.
Here are 10 ways to curb salt cravings so you can begin to make healthier food choices.
If you want to curb salt cravings, a first good step to give you strength to do it is to educate yourself.
Armed with that knowledge, you'll be much more likely to be aware of your salt intake and then be able to monitor it.
Heart & Stroke Canada has lots of tips for healthy eating and shopping. Knowledge is important. Reduced sodium intake results in reduced blood pressure
levels. That's very important. Change your habits now to prevent high blood pressure or any other heart disease later. Do this for your children, too.
Increasing your motivation to curb salt cravings makes accomplishing that goal more possible.
Just this good first step puts you on a path to improved health and that means a longer, happier life.
Become a wise shopper. Read the labels on all foods that you purchase and consume, especially anything that is packaged. Find out how much sodium they contain and then figure out where to cut back.
The good news is that the more unprocessed foods are, the less you have to worry.
Slowly wean yourself from the amount you consume. When you have gotten used to a large amount of salt, unsalted food will taste bland at first. Wean yourself slowly off salt by putting less and less on your food every day, until you are down to an acceptable amount.
Here's a tip I've used for years. Never salt vegetables while they are cooking. Most people will salt their food at the table, even without tasting it. It's just a habit they've gotten used to. So I stopped salting vegetables when I was steaming them. Often now, I "forget" to put the salt shaker on the table.
I also don't add it to casseroles or meats I am cooking. To this day, no one has ever complained. No one has even noticed.
Make food tasty through other means. Salt may enhance taste, but it is only one of many substances which do so. Instead of being liberal in your use of salt, try out other things that make food tasty, such as herbs, spices and lemon juice.
Start a little herb garden in your kitchen or on your balcony and you'll be more tempted to explore their use. There are a lot of Benefits to Growing Herbs! You'll find the recipes for Herbed Rice Side Dish and Perfect Salt Substitute on that page, too. Neither recipe contains any salt.
Drink more water. Dehydration requires salt to steady your electrolytes, so your body craves it when you are not drinking enough. If you are craving salt, it might be a sign that you need to drink more water instead.
Just skip processed foods. Salt is a natural preservative and a taste enhancer. Because of this, most processed foods are overloaded with it. If you cut out processed foods, you will greatly cut down on your salt intake.
If you buy and eat a lot of processed foods, (think ground meat & tuna helpers, crackers, baking mixes, seasoning mixes and gravies) this may be the #1 place to start your curb salt cravings campaign. Processed foods are loaded with salt.
Ever buy packaged oatmeal? It's loaded with salt and sugar - and is no faster to cook than than a handful of rolled oats. Plus it costs you a fortune. Cut that out and you'll be saving loads of money, too.
Be accountable to a good friend. You are more likely to stick with your lifestyle changes when you are accountable to someone who cares about your health. Have someone you can call up and give a daily total of your salt intake.
This will help you avoid unhealthy foods when you are feeling
tempted. They might just jump on board your new improved lifestyle movement, too.
When you take one thing away, you need to have a substitute for it ready to hand. Eating salty foods can be triggered by habits you have formed, so you need to replace the habit with a healthy habit that serves you and your desires for good health.
If every football game or baseball series means a big bag of chips then to curb salt cravings you need to make some changes,
A platter of unsalted crackers, nachos, fresh veggies and fruit with Spicy Hummus dip will satisfy without sabotaging. (you might not want to add as much garlic as I did, phew, that packed a punch!)
If you are used to staying up late and sitting on the sofa in front of the television while devouring a bag of potato chips, it is time to make a change.
Form new habits such as a bedtime snack of an apple and unsalted peanut butter or make-your-own Sunbutter, followed by a long bath and an earlier bedtime.
When you crave salt your body might actually be wanting them instead so choose healthy minerals. If you are craving salt, check your diet and see if you are low on minerals such as calcium, magnesium, or zinc. Include a multi-vitamin in your daily routine if you haven’t done so already.
Reward yourself for progress. When you have made an
attempt to cut down on your salt intake and have succeeded, reward yourself. When we don't get a reward for our efforts, it becomes hard to sustain all that hard work. So don't forget to reward yourself with something you love and you'll succeed.
Make plans to head to the spa, go on a hike, or choose something else that contributes to your health and makes you feel good.
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