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Salt & Water Retention Tips
Please Pass the Spice Shaker

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

There's more to life than a shaker of salt....

Salt (sodium content) can be a dieter's worst nightmare, particularly for those individuals who are susceptible to the effects of sodium overload.

Symptoms include bloating, a feeling of fullness - the body may expand so large that rings will be almost impossible - if not impossible to remove.

In some individuals, sodium impacts blood pressure readings - so that they reach unhealthy levels. For those with certain health conditions such as those that involve the heart or the kidneys, salt consumption in certain amounts can pose increased health risks.

And another negative effect that many individuals experience where sodium overload is involved is weight gain, albeit 'false' weight gain OR temporary weight gain as the body requires time to get rid of the retained water, encouraged by the excess consumption of sodium.

How to Get Flavor From Foods Without Experiencing the Negative Effects of Sodium

Rather than pinching the salt, you have other healthier options that will add flavor to your bland diet plan. Try sprinkling some spice on foods to liven up things.

Here are few excellent examples of how spice can over-power sodium without creating all those bothersome effects.

Rosemary Chicken No Added Sodium Recipe

Purchase a whole chicken and place into a roasting bag. These little bags are excellent for sealing in natural flavors and they are very inexpensive. They typically come with 4-5 roasting bags per package.

Be sure to prepare the bag before inserting the chicken.

Generally, you use a bit of all-purpose flour to coat the bag before adding the ingredients and once you have everything in the roasting bag, you use the supplied tie to seal the bag - then you poke a few holes in the top of the bag to vent the steam.

And you may need to add a bit of water to the roasting pan before you set the bag inside.

I do love these roasting bags because there is very little clean-up involved. When I visit the dollar type stores, I purchase the deep foil pans that are typically used for roasting turkey and I keep them on hand for the roasting bags.

The foil pans are very deep and have ample room for the roasting bag - which makes cooking so easy. Once the recipe is completed, I simply have to wash the foil pan using a bit of dish soap and store.

After the chicken is in the bag, place a sprig of rosemary in the cavity of the bird. Now let's add some peeled carrots and whole potatoes to the bag.

Be sure to use large vegetables as if small specimens are used they will overcook before the chicken is done.

Cooking Notes

You can also add a whole onion if you wish - and you can also pepper the bird before adding to the bag if desired.

Cook based on the time required for a whole chicken. I like mine really nice and done so I typically set the oven on 350 degrees and cook each pound of the bird for 20 to 25 minutes. So if you have a five pound chicken, the cooking time will be about two to two and one-half hours.

Because the potatoes are left whole they are exactly right at the end of cooking time. Carrots take a bit longer to cook than the potatoes - but because they are smaller than the potatoes, everything comes together in perfect harmony. And this recipe tastes absolutely delicious without added sodium.

Once done, the chicken inside the roasting bag will appear very golden in color - and the end result is a very tasty, very juicy bird.

Yams, a No Added Sodium Recipe

Where the white potato is concerned - almost all diners reach for the salt shaker and deliver a few brisk sprinkles. Sweet potatoes are a vegetable that don't need a dose of sodium to enhance flavor.

Try adding a dash or two of ground cinnamon on baked yams or sweet potatoes along with a spoon of dark or light brown sugar. Also add a teaspoon of light margarine for an additional 40 calories. Delicious!

Mushrooms, a No Added Sodium Recipe

Adding dried thyme to sauteed mushrooms adds spice without adding caloric values and unwanted fat grams.

In Summary

Make spice the 'new salt of the earth' and be free of the bothersome effects of sodium overload. Most of us get the required dose of daily sodium (2,400 mg) found naturally in the foods within our daily diet.


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