NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


| Share

Shaking Salt Out - Not On

Shaking Salt Out – Not On


           Salt is a vital nutrient for humans but too much of a good thing definitely applies to salt. A variety and depth of medical studies have consistently linked high levels of salt in a diet to high blood pressure which may lead to heart problems, stroke, kidney disease and even dementia.  The USDA Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sodium intake equals no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, which is just a tab more than a teaspoon of salt.

            By making a few simple changes you can dramatically reduce the amount of salt in your diet without really noticing that you are cutting back.:

• Put away the salt shaker. Many people salt their food out of habit. Think of it this way: if you really need salt is the walk to the kitchen cupboard to get it really that far? By simply not putting the salt shaker on the table you may not only find yourself using much less salt but enjoying the true taste of your food even more.

• Substitute for the salt. The wide variety of salt substitutes on the market is a good starting point but you can also use herbs, spices and lemon to mimic the taste of salt without actually using it..

• Switch to lower salt variations. If you are a frequent use of canned, processed foods, such as chicken broth or soups, try switching to the low salt version of the same item.  Cost is usually comparable and calories may be less too as low-salt versions are often also low-fat.


• Check what you are adding.  Your salad might be low-cal, low-fat and low-salt but what of the bottled salad dressing you are topping it with. Bottled dressings are often heavy on the salt and he same can be said of barbeque and dipping sauces and other condiments. Instead of adding the dressing to your salad, try adding the salad to your dressing. Have a small dish of dressing on the side and dip a forkful of salad greens into the dish.


•Retrain your taste buds. Scale back the amount of salt used at the table and in cooking to reduce your exposure to its taste. After three months, most people no longer miss salt, research shows.

•Check nutrient claims. Products labeled "sodium free" contain 5 mg of sodium or less per serving. A "very low sodium" product has 35 mg or less, and a "low sodium" item contains 140 mg or less.

•Sidestep sodium heavyweights. Avoid cured meats, such as bacon, ham, and hot dogs; sardines and smoked salmon; and brined foods, like pickles, sauerkraut, and olives.

•Be choosy at restaurants. It's easy to consume a day's worth of sodium in a single restaurant dish. Some chains post nutrition information for each menu item, so check sodium content before ordering. At other restaurants, ask for low-salt dishes and for sauce or dressing on the side. If you plan to eat out, reduce sodium intake at other meals.


The following version of a family standard –chicken –might be your new low-salt favorite.

Paprika Chicken

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Pepper to taste

1 pinch garlic powder

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

2 teaspoons paprika

1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.      In a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish, place chicken breasts side by side. Sprinkle to taste with ground black pepper, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, and then paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear. Check often and add a little water if the chicken starts to stick to the dish.

Per Serving Calories: 133, Total Fat: 1.6g , Cholesterol: 68mg

Nutritional Information

Paprika Chicken

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 133

·Total Fat: 1.6g

·Cholesterol: 68mg

·Sodium: 77mg

·Total Carbs: 0.7g

·    Dietary Fiber: 0.3g

·Protein: 27.4g

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.