Hopefully, you already know that consuming too much salt can have a negative impact on your weight loss journey. Salt doesn’t have a significant fat or calorie content, but this essential mineral can help you retain water, which can make it harder to meet your weekly Jenny Craig goal. And, although the body only needs about 1.5-2.3g salt per day to function properly, most Australians consume about 9 grams of salt every day – 3g in excess of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s recommendation of 6g salt per day for healthy Australian adults, and 5g in excess of the guidelines of 4g salt per day for people with high blood pressure or heart disease.
The problem isn’t necessarily over-using your salt shaker, either. Sodium can be “hidden” in many foods that don’t taste especially salty—including breads, cheese, prepared soups, chicken and even your breakfast cereal. Luckily, if you’re following a Jenny Craig weight loss program, you can be sure that your prepared meals contain a healthy balance of sodium and other nutrients. But for the times when you’re preparing your own meals or perhaps looking for a little extra flavour, try these three salt-savvy tips.
1. Pucker up.
Sometimes a really sour flavour like lemon/lime juice or vinegar can give your taste buds the tingle they want. Keep a few extra fresh lemons and limes around the house (the bottled stuff can have a bitter taste) and try it in place of your salt. After a week or two, you may even come to prefer these flavours.
2. Get spicy.
When you put salt on the sidelines, you’ll be surprised how many other spices can serve the same purpose! Try adding a pinch of onion or garlic powder to your favourite classic casserole and meat dishes, basil and oregano to Italian dishes, and cayenne or chilli powder to Mexican food. To give a dish an exotic flavor, try a dash of curry powder, Garam Masala or even cinnamon—you’ll be surprised how much these spices can elevate your meal.
3. Roast it.
Here’s an easy way to bring out the natural flavours of your fruits and veggies: roast ‘em. The process of roasting brings out taste of fruit or vegetable’s natural sugars, which delivers an effortless boost of flavour. If you’re looking for a tasty, Jenny Craig-approved side dish, try roasting some of your favourite non-starchy vegetables – capsicum, red onion, cauliflower and eggplant are all fantastic; you can even make some extras for a quick snack option tomorrow! Add garlic and herbs such as rosemary and thyme for that extra hit of flavour.