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About Low Salt Cooking


"Take it with a grain of salt” should be taken literally to become a mantra in support of healthy eating for the 21st century.

High levels of sodium in our diets, found in salt (sodium chloride), increase the risk for high blood pressure which in turn can lead to a variety of diseases, including coronary heart disease, strokes, congestive heart failure and kidney disease. See US Government 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Heart Association's Guidelines.

The average American consumes more than 1-1/2 teaspoon of salt a day, which provides more than 3,400 mg. of sodium per day. This amount is about 50% more than the levels of sodium recommended in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is no more than 2,300 mg. of sodium per day for persons 14 or more years of age, and no more than 1,500 mg. of sodium per day for adults with hypertension. US Government 2015 Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines provide an appendix that sets forth sodium recommendations for all ages, including children as young as one year of age. Appendix 7

In a July 12, 2011 study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found a strong relationship between a high sodium/low potassium intake and higher risk of cardiovascular disease.    
(See http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/DietNutrition/27489 .)

According to a 2010 study in The New England Journal of Medicine, there would be between 54,000 and 99,000 fewer heart attacks each year and between 44,000 and 92,000 fewer deaths if everyone consumed a half teaspoon less of salt per day. See New York Times article.

Decreasing our daily sodium intake is one important step in the process of a healthier lifestyle that does not have to be dull. Food taken with a minimal amount of salt can be tasty as well as life-saving. Most of us who are used to eating a high-sodium diet would probably find it hard to abruptly cut back to the levels recommended to help fight high blood pressure and heart disease. The trick is to do it gradually and give the taste buds time to adjust. It can take at least six weeks for them to get adjusted to and enjoy less salty foods. Even a small amount of salt can enhance the flavor of food.

This website provides the first step toward retraining our taste buds with a cooking style that combines careful label reading with the use of sodium-free spices and a small amount of salt. These recipes can keep us within healthy sodium guidelines and at the same time satisfy our taste buds. The recipes are set out in an easy to follow format where ingredients are readied before cooking begins, taking the hassle out of meal preparation and making the change to low-sodium cooking enjoyable and simple.

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