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Surprise! Your Salt Shaker May be Your Friend

Most of us know we should try to avoid eating too much salt.  Salt (or more accurately sodium, which is in salt) consumption is associated with high blood pressure which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.  The good news is that research shows that if people reduce the amount of salt they eat, their blood pressure will go down.

Think about that for a moment.  Stroke and heart disease can be controlled (or maybe even prevented) by what you eat!  That is why so many nutrition experts tell you to “throw away your salt shaker”.  And that is why Yumbini is intentionally easy on salt (lower than almost every quick meal out there).  On the other hand, don’t give up on your salt shaker altogether.  Here’s why you might want to salt your food at the table (instead of in the kitchen):

Control

The most obvious reason for salting your food yourself (using your trusty salt shaker), is that you can add the exact amount of salt you want.  Remember that much of the food we eat is salted already (prepared foods, cheese, sauces, salad dressing, deli meats, even bread) so you don’t need to add any more.  But if you are cooking at home from scratch, say a scrambled egg or some vegetables, leave out the salt while cooking and try giving it a light sprinkle of salt at the table.

Remember to TASTE the food first before adding salt – it may not need any! Did you know that sweet and salt flavors tend to “cancel each other out”?  So if you add less salt to food, it tastes a bit sweeter.  You may like it better!  And of course everyone’s taste and needs are different, so salt the amount you need – but no more. 

Intensity

If you salt your food right before eating, the salt on the surface of the food hits your taste buds first.  This gives the perception of the food being saltier.  That is why chips and crackers have most of the salt on the outside – to give that big up-front hit of salt with the first bite.  You can try the same technique at home….just don’t go overboard!

Iodine

You may have noticed the salt you buy for home is “iodized”.  That means iodine, an esssential nutrient has been added to prevent deficiencies in the population.  This has virtually eliminated “iodine deficiency disorders” (IDD) such as goiter, cretinism, stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, and retarded physical and intellectual development in the US.  On the other hand, many people do not realize that most salt used in prepared food, does NOT contain iodine.  So, make sure the salt you buy is iodized, and prepare as much food at home as possible – with a little sprinkle from your friendly salt shaker! 

And remember, Yumbini is purposely easy on the salt to protect your health!  Enjoy!

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