When sodium pops up in the news these days, the conversation most often focuses on where it hides (bread, milk, processed items) and how to avoid it (don't eat these foods). This conversation holds essential information for those keeping a low-sodium diet, but with all the "cannot's," "do not's," and "should not's," it is also a message that often leaves people feeling empty instead of full.
So as someone who has lived on a satisfying salt-free diet for almost a decade, I propose we talk about something a little more inspiring. Let's focus less on the sodium restrictions, and instead, on the sodium opportunities.
Do you like beets, celery, or meat? Did you know they all contain sodium, too?
A single beet has 65 milligrams of sodium, celery has 50 milligrams of sodium per large stalk, and a chicken breast contains around 70 milligrams of sodium per serving, and the majority of whole foods contain some amount of sodium, too. The point isn't to say that you should start avoiding the produce aisle and the butcher counter along with those foods that "hide" sodium, but instead, it's that there's a way to bring that "salty" taste back to your favorite dishes.
Here are eight high-sodium whole foods that will add depth and flavor to your cooking. These foods are natural in flavor, nutrition powerhouses, and they can boost and balance your meals. This list will pleasantly surprise you, and will show you that there is actually some sodium that you can enjoy.
It's American Heart Month, and there's no better way to love your heart than by watching your sodium intake. For more low-sodium tips and recipes, check out SodiumGirl.com and Sodium Girl's Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook.
Curious to see what high-sodium foods are OK to eat? Check out the slideshow above.