Do you keep an eye on your sodium intake? You probably should. According to the CDC, Americans as a population consume too much sodium. An over abundance of sodium in the diet can lead to hypertension (high-blood pressure) which, in turn can lead to heart disease and strokes. As a cardiac nurse (in real life), I regularly see the effects of too much sodium and poor diets. And let me tell ya folks, it ain’t pretty.
Sunkist is suggesting using fresh squeezed Sunkist lemons as an alternative to salt… a S’alternative! (clever, no??) Not only is it healthy, but lemon wedges look so pretty on the dinner table..
Sunkist put together a fun little quiz on Facebook to determine your sodium style.
I took the quiz, and guess what..
Alright, to be fair.. I’ve never been much of a salt fan (gimme sugar!) and I wouldn’t be a very good nurse if I didn’t know the facts. So now it’s your turn to take the Sunkist Sodium Quiz on Facebook yourself and find out if you are a Sodium Smarty…or one of these other fun guys..
Sunkist S’alternative’s Tips on Reducing Sodium Intake
- Read labels! I can’t emphasize this enough. I went to my pantry to compare the sodium levels in different packaged foods, and boy were there some surprises. Refried beans?! Chocolate pudding mix?! Really?! I was shocked.
- Avoid pre-cooked poultry and deli meats, as these tend to be loaded with salt and preservatives.
- Plan your meals taking sodium into consideration. If you are going to eat a dish that is high in sodium, pair it with something that’s lower in sodium (eat your veggies!)
- Avoid all salt when cooking and serve lemon wedges and some herb seasoning on the side.
- Want more tips? Check out the Sunkist S’alternative site!
So you don’t believe that a little lemon can go a long way to replace salt?? Well then I suggest you try this recipe:
Lemon Seafood Paella
- 1-32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
- 1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
- 1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 Sunkist®lemons, zest and juice
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ cups minced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
- 1 cup frozen green peas
1-8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers
Instructions: (Makes 8 servings)
- To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
- To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring.
Not a fish fan? There are other awesome low-sodium recipes over at Sunkist S’alternative.