Last week’s Shaklak Aklak episode was all about what exactly sodium is and the recommended amounts, this week we give you some tips on how to control your intake and keep sodium levels balanced within your body!

Excessive sodium levels in the body are largely associated with an increase in blood pressure, one of the biggest factors for heart disease. So, what can you do if you really love salt and can’t quite part with it yet.

  • Don’t add any salt to your food while cooking, simply sprinkle a little to your finished meal (without mixing it up). This means the first few tablespoons of your meal which does include salt will satisfy your taste buds and you won’t feel the lack of salt while eating the rest of your plate.
  • Be aware of packaged foods which often contain lots of added salt to preserve them in cans or containers.
  • Do not add salt when cooking pasta (it won’t stick in the pan – we promise!)
  • Taste your food before you automatically reach for the salt shaker. We often just add extra salt out of habit, not because the food actually needs it.
  • Use different spices and herbs to flavor your food. Here are some examples:

Basil: Fish, lamb, lean ground meats, stews, salads, soups, sauces, fish cocktails
Bay leaves: Lean meats, stews, poultry, soups, tomatoes
Apple cider vinegar: Salads, vegetables, sauces
Cinnamon: Fruits (especially apples), breads, pie crusts
Curry powder: Lean meats (especially lamb), veal, chicken, fish, tomatoes, tomato soup
Dill: Fish sauces, soups, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, salads, macaroni, lean beef, lamb, chicken, fish
Garlic or garlic powder (not garlic salt): Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes
Ginger: Chicken, fruits
Lemon juice: Lean meats, fish, poultry, salads, vegetables
Mustard powder: Lean ground meats, lean meats, chicken, fish, salads, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, mayonnaise, sauces
Nutmeg: Fruits, pie crust, lemonade, potatoes, chicken, fish, lean meat loaf, toast, veal, pudding
Onion powder (not onion salt): Lean meats, stews, vegetables, salads, soups
Paprika: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables
Parsley: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables
Peppermint extract: Puddings, fruits
Rosemary: Chicken, veal, lean meat loaf, lean beef, sauces, potatoes, peas, lima beans
Sage: Lean meats, stews, biscuits, tomatoes, green beans, fish, lima beans, onions
Thyme: Lean meats (especially veal), sauces, soups, onions, peas, tomatoes, salads
Turmeric: Lean meats, fish, sauces, rice

Remember, your preference for salty foods is merely an adaptation of what you are used to and you can program and adapt your body to enjoy flavored foods that are salt-free or very low in salt in a period of 3-4 weeks. It simply takes time and perseverance, and all of the above changes should be made gradually to allow your taste buds to adapt to the new taste of the food. You don’t have to settle for bland food simply because you want to become healthier.

Stay tuned for more Shaklak Aklak episodes where important nutritional information such as servings sizes, differences between fats, and nutritional values are discussed. Find out more information via the Shaklak Aklak website, Facebook page, Instagram page, and YouTube channel.