Our bodies need sodium to help maintain water and mineral balances and blood volume, but too much can have negative effects on your health. Experts recommend that adults consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily—that’s about 1 teaspoon of salt. Learn how excess sodium in the following foods can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Breads and rolls: These are some foods that you eat several times a day– but watch out because eating a lot can add up the sodium content you are consuming. Always check labels and aim for the lower-sodium varieties whenever possible!
Cold cuts and cured meats: One 2 oz. serving or 6 thin slices of deli meat can contain as much as half of your days worth of recommended dietary sodium.
Pizza: One slice of pizza can contain as much as half your recommended dietary sodium for the day. Limit the cheese and add more veggies!
Poultry: Sodium levels can vary based on preparation methods. It’s important to choose wisely!
Soup: Sodium in one can of soup can contain 100 to as much as 940 milligrams which is more than half of your dietary recommended intake. Check labels and aim for lower sodium options!
Sandwiches:A sandwich or burger from a fast food restaurant can contain more than 100% of your daily recommended sodium intake. Go for a half of a sandwich with a side salad instead!
Tips to cutting back sodium:
Introduce additional flavor to your foods with herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, thyme and sesame. These all add flavor without the extra sodium.
Processed foods (anything in a box or bag) tend to be high in sodium because it helps preserve foods longer and increase flavor.
Remember that “low-fat” or “low-calorie” doesn’t mean healthy. These diet foods can also be higher in sodium because manufacturers hope that added sodium, a flavor-enhancer, will bring back the flavor.
If you can’t find sodium-free varieties of canned vegetables, rinse the can’s contents in a colander under water before cooking to remove excess salt.
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped chives, (about 1 bunch)
Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch. Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow glass baking dish and dredge the chicken in it. Discard the excess flour.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour; stir to coat. Add wine, broth and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring often.
Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until heated through and no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes. Stir in sour cream and mustard until smooth; turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Stir in chives and serve immediately.
Per serving: 244 calories; 9 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 72 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 0 g fiber; 679 mg sodium; 334 mg potassium.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hours (adding more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if necessary or desired). Season with salt.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Slow-Cooker Variation: Use 2 cups water (instead of 9 cups) and combine all ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.
Per serving: 205 calories; 3 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 35 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 10 g fiber; 705 mg sodium; 601 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (49% daily value), Magnesium & Potassium (17% dv), Iron (16% dv).
2 large egg whites, or 4 teaspoons dried egg whites (see Ingredient note), reconstituted according to package directions
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup strong (or prepared instant) coffee, or black tea
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch brownie pan or baking pan with cooking spray.
To prepare topping: Place cream cheese in a small mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add egg, flour, yogurt and vanilla; beat until well blended.
To prepare brownie layer: Whisk whole-wheat flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Place egg, egg whites and brown sugar in a large bowl and beat with the electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add oil, coffee (or tea) and vanilla; beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until well blended, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
Scrape about half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Slowly pour the topping evenly on top. Drop the remaining brownie batter in large dollops over the topping. Draw the tip of a sharp knife or skewer through the two batters to create a swirled effect.
Bake the brownies until the top is just firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Coat a knife with cooking spray and cut into 24 bars.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: The brownies will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (Alternatively, bake brownies in an 8 1/2-by-12 1/2 -inch foil pan, wrap well and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.) Bring to room temperature and cut into bars shortly before serving.
Ingredient Note: Dried egg whites are convenient in recipes like this one because you don’t have to figure out what to do with 4 egg yolks. Look for powdered brands like Just Whites in the baking aisle or natural-foods section or fresh pasteurized whites in the dairy case of most supermarkets.
Per bar: 105 calories; 4 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 21 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 54 mg sodium; 45 mg potassium.