Reduce Salt, Increase Flavor with These 3 Tips
By Staci Amend
March 30, 2015
Hopefully, you already know that consuming too much sodium can have a negative impact on your weight loss journey. Salt doesn’t have a significant fat or calorie content, but this essential mineral can help you retain water, which can make it harder to meet your weekly Jenny Craig goal. And, although the body only needs about 500 milligrams (about a quarter-teaspoon) a day to function properly, most Americans eat more than 3,400 mg daily—about 1,000 mg in excess of the American Heart Association’s recommended daily allowance.
The problem isn’t necessarily over-using your salt shaker, either. Sodium can be “hidden” in many foods that don’t taste especially salty—including breads, cottage cheese, prepared soups, chicken and even your breakfast cereal. Luckily, if you’re following a Jenny Craig weight loss program, you can be sure that your prepared meals contain a healthy balance of sodium and other nutrients. But for the times when you’re preparing your own meals or perhaps looking for a little extra flavor, try these four salt-savvy tips.
1. Pucker up.
Sometimes an exceptionally sour flavor like lemon/lime juice or vinegar can give your taste buds the tingle they want. Keep a few extra fresh lemons and limes around the house (the bottled stuff can have a bitter taste) and try it in place of your salt. After a week or two, you may even come to prefer these flavors.
2. Get spicy.
When you put your salt on the sidelines, you’ll be surprised how many other spices can serve the same purpose! Try adding a pinch of onion or garlic powder to your favorite American-style meals, basil and oregano to Italian dishes, and cayenne or chili powder to Mexican food. To give a dish an exotic flavor, try a dash of curry, Garam Masala or even cinnamon—you’d be surprised how much these spices can elevate your meal.
3. Roast it.
Here’s an easy way to bring out the natural flavors of your fruits and veggies: roast ‘em. The process of roasting brings out a fruit or vegetable’s natural sugars, which delivers an effortless boost of flavor. If you’re looking for a tasty, Jenny Craig-approved side dish, try our Garlic Roasted Vegetables or Staci’s Roasted Sweet Potatoes. The latter has no added salt, and is ultra-satisfying—especially on a chilly day.