Sodium Saturday

OK, I missed Food Porn Friday.  To make up for it, here’s a little information slide show about sodium from WebMD.com.

In my forever quest to lose weight, I started tracking the amount of sodium I consumed and started looking at labels when grocery shopping.  Sodium is an essential mineral.  Our bodies need it to maintain proper fluid balance, transmit nerve impulses and assist in muscle contraction and relaxation.  But, there is so much salt in our processed food!

I knew that sodium would be higher in TV dinners and soups, but I was surprised to see how high it is in tomato sauce!  And the slide show says medicines for headaches and heartburn can contain sodium.  I don’t know why it needs to be added to our pills but check your list of ingredients.

As you probably know, too much sodium raises the risk of high blood pressure and kidney disease.  And, even though I’ve been told that it’s not the cause of my balance issues, people with Meniere’s Disease have been told to lower their sodium intake as that may lower the frequency of vertigo episodes.

So, I try to find ways to reduce sodium from my diet.  I also check out different recipes for inspiration.  The Mayo Clinic has a list of low-sodium recipes.  Here’s two recipes from their website and the nutritional information for each recipe.

Happy cooking!

Crispy Potato Skins

Dietitian’s tip:
You can use any number of herbs or spices to season the potato skins. Try fresh basil, chives, dill, garlic, cayenne pepper, caraway seed, tarragon or thyme.
Serves 2

Ingredients

    2 medium russet potatoes
    Butter-flavored cooking spray
    1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Wash the potatoes and pierce with a fork. Place in the oven and bake until the skins are crisp, about 1 hour.

Carefully — potatoes will be very hot — cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp, leaving about 1/8 inch of the potato flesh attached to the skin. Save the pulp for another use.

Spray the inside of each potato skin with butter-flavored cooking spray. Press in the rosemary and pepper. Return the skins to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

(per serving)

Serving size: 2 potato skin halves
Calories 114 Cholesterol 0 mg
Protein 2 g Sodium 12 mg
Carbohydrate 27 g Fiber 4 g
Total fat 0 g Potassium 332 mg
Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 20 mg
Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Dietitian’s tip:
To see if the chicken is cooked through to its center, cut into the thickest part. Any juices should run clear, and the meat should show no signs of uncooked or pink flesh. Using a food thermometer, check to make sure it registers 170 F.
Ingredients
Serves 4
    3 tablespoons seedless raisins
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 bay leaf
    1 cup chopped and peeled apple
    2 tablespoons chopped water chestnuts
    4 large chicken breast halves, with the bones removed, each about 6 ounces
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup fat-free milk
    1 teaspoon curry powder
    2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
    1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, add the raisins and cover with warm water. Set aside and allow the raisins to swell.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add the onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and add the apples. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the raisins and pat with paper towels to remove the excess water. Add the raisins to the apple mixture. Stir in the water chestnuts and remove from heat. Let cool.

Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts. Place the apple-raisin mixture between the skin and breast. In another skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until browned, about 5 minutes on each side.

Transfer the chicken breasts to the prepared baking dish. Cover and bake until a meat thermometer registers 170 F, or about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

While the chicken is baking, heat the milk, curry powder and flour over low heat in a saucepan. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the chicken breasts. Cover and return the chicken to the oven and bake another 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken breasts to warmed individual plates. Spoon the sauce from the baking pan over the chicken and garnish with lemon wedges.

Nutritional Analysis

(per serving)

Serving size: 1 stuffed chicken breast
Calories 371 Cholesterol 96 mg
Protein 36 g Sodium 122 mg
Carbohydrate 20 g Fiber 2 g
Total fat 16 g Potassium 505 mg
Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 91 mg
Monounsaturated fat 8 g
Advertisements

One comment

  1. I’ve been watching my sodium for so long because of the Meniere’s that too much salt tastes weird to me now. But now that I know I have low pressure instead of high pressure I don’t have to be as careful. Still too much sodium isn’t good for anyone!
    I’m great as keeping sodium down except when it comes to Cheese. I love cheese and it’s high in sodium. Well Swiss is pretty low, but Swiss doesn’t go with everything. : )
    I don’t like the idea that I can’t really keep up with the amount of sodium I intake when I’m taking my meds. That’s just horrible. You know I also have to be careful because some medications have wheat or gluten in them as fillers. (I’m lucky I have a great pharmacist who keeps on top of it for me.) But I really have to be careful of over the counter meds, and some prescriptions, I couldn’t get the generic because it had gluten.
    Shameful, what they put in our medications.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s