Healthy Thursday: Live Salt-Free!
Salt has been used since early times as a preservative, flavoring as well as 13,998 uses. In time, Man developed heart disease and associated diseases from overuse of this wonderful flavoring. So health professionals have told Man and Woman to cut all sodium out of their diet, lest they have heart attacks, hardening of the arteries, clogged arteries, diabetes, renal/kidney failure and so forth. I was 19 when my Dr. informed me I needed to cut salt out of my diet or I would have a heart attack.
At first the ban almost crippled my meals and enjoyment of eating, but in the 25 years since, I haven’t missed a single crystal. That same Dr. told me that fresh fruits and vegetables have enough naturally occurring sodium to more than meet my daily nutritional requirements. She gave me a 40 mg limit of sodium per meal: let that sink in. An average fast food meal has 1751 milligrams of sodium! I’m allowed 40 mg per meal.
So to avoid diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, high blood pressure, I don’t cook with salt or have it on my table, as I describe in my cookbook, “Simple, Healthy, Fresh 1.0” Instead, I allow the natural taste of foods to shine through. Salt hides flavor, texture and fools your taste buds. In my cooking, I use a lot of herbs, spices and other natural flavorings. These, used properly, enhance the flavors of fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat meats.
When your mouth craves salt, what it’s really craving is something bright and sharp. Instead of those ‘salt substitutes’ that are all over the market (and, in my humble opinion, do nothing to stave the craving for salt) use dried citrus zest. My favorites are dried lemon and orange peel. You can make your own dried citrus zest: try lime, grapefruit, etc. A little goes a long way! When I would use salt in my teenage years, my food would look like snowy-salt mountains. How foolish I was!
Now I just sprinkle about 1/8th-1/4 tsp when cooking and at the table. I’ve got a line of peppers (from Allspice Pepper to Rose Petal Pepper to Mustard Seed Pepper)that I use when cooking and for the table for flavoring instead of salt. My kidney transplant doesn’t miss the salt, neither does the diabetes and heart disease (caused by renal failure and high blood pressure). Your body will thank you!