Controversy continues over salt and its influence on our health. The FDA recently reduced the recommendation for the amount of sodium (salt=sodium + chloride) from 3,400 milligrams each day to 2,300. 2,300 milligrams of sodium is a teaspoon of salt.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 75% of our sodium intake is from dining out, prepared foods and processed foods. Only 5% comes from salt added during cooking and 6% from adding salt at the dinner table.
This leads to ways of decreasing sodium intake. By using quality ingredients that taste good to start with there is less need for salt. Also, instead of salt, add other flavors to foods such as fresh herbs, spices, chilies, ginger, onion, garlic, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, and low-sodium soy sauce.
(Did You Know? Using larger crystal salt like flaked or coarse sea salt will cut the sodium you put in foods about in half.)
Here’s a specific method to reduce salt while cooking from Stanford University School of Medicine:
While making something like chili, start by preparing 2-3 quarts. Then add ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir and taste. If you just taste it on the tip of your tongue then add another ¼ teaspoon. Try it and see if you taste the salt in the middle third of your tongue. If so stop, if not add another ¼ teaspoon. If in adding salt to anything you are cooking you can taste it in the back of your tongue or throat, then you have over-salted it. The goal is to just taste it on the tip and middle parts of your tongue.
–Kathleen Squires, WSJ