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Salt is a Silent Killer on The Doctors

the doctorsTune in Friday, March 25 to The Doctors for a look at the dangers of salt. Most Americans eat far more salt than the recommended daily intake, but what are the real consequences? The Doctors describes salt at the “four-letter silent killer” and argue that it has become as dangerous as nicotine.

Learn what you can do to cut back on the amount of sodium in your diet and reduce your risk for several serious health problems.


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Eat Less Salt in 2011 with the New Dietary Guidelines

Since the announcement of the new 2010 dietary guidelines for Americans, culinary experts and dietitians have been working to help their clients adjust their diets to reflect the new guidelines. One of these suggestions includes eating less sodium.

Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash, RD is working to help Americans do just that. Here are a few tips straight from her kitchen to help cut down your salt intake, which promotes overall heart health and may even help you slim down.

Hold the salt: Instead of adding salt throughout the preparation process, only add it at the end of cooking when it’s needed.  This method requires less salt, while still reaching your taste buds upon first bite.

Think fresh: Use good quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, which results in maximum flavor and leaves little need for added salt.


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Spice Up Your Kitchen with Sea Salt

What is the difference between sea salt and table salt? You may have wondered this last time you were at the grocery store and noticed shelf after shelf of gourmet seasoning salts.

While table salt and sea salt have the same basic nutritional value, sea salt is typically marketed as a natural, healthier alternative. While there is no real health benefit to choosing sea salt over table salt, there are differences in taste and texture that some home cooks prefer.

According to The Spice House in Chicago, IL, salt is a mineral, not a spice. It has become an important player in the culinary game since it does not lose its flavor over time, as is typical of some herbs and spices.


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Satisfy a Salty Craving on a Diet

Your mouth waters and your mind wanders. You’re eating a deliciously balanced plate of grilled chicken and green beans with a whole grain roll but something is missing. You know what it is: you left the salt shaker in the kitchen. The question is, do you go and get it? Cutting salt out of your diet can be a difficult process, especially when you experience salt cravings. Cravings are a complicated phenomenon and can arise for a multitude of reasons. Understanding your salt cravings and developing strategies to combat them is one of the keys to a well-executed diet plan.

Why do we crave salt? First of all, it’s important to remember that salt is of vital importance to the proper functioning of the body. There was a point in time when salt was among the most valuable objects in the world. A salt craving can sometimes be a signal that you’re mildly dehydrated. If you have a glass of water before indulging in your salt craving, you may find that you’re simply thirsty. In most cases, cravings are experienced because a person is accustomed to a heavily salted diet. In these situations, the cure is a matter of adjusting to the taste of foods with less salt. Consider consulting a physician if your craving is accompanied by excessive thirst, dry mouth or dizziness. Sometimes a salt craving can indicate severe dehydration, complex electrolyte imbalances, Addison’s disease or certain adrenal diseases.


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New Dietary Guidelines Address Heart Health Just in Time for American Heart Month

The updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans have finally been released and although they are a month late, and really not much different from the 2005 version, they address some vital concerns, including heart disease. The late release of the new guidelines serves as a strong foundation for this year’s American Heart Month. With an emphasis on reduced sodium intake as a key recommendation, the Dietary Guidelines acknowledge the importance of heart health among Americans.

On average, the typical American diet includes 3,800 mg of sodium a day. That’s a far jump from the recommended 2,300 mg and an even further jump from the reduced intake of 1,500 mg for “persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.” Although it would do good for everyone to lean towards the more modest number of 1,500 mg, it’s essential for about half of the population. There are many ways you can reduce the amount of sodium in your diet:


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