Fighting the battle of the bulge? Taking blood pressure medication? Swearing off sugar due to diabetes? These are just of few of the many afflictions Americans are facing and our diet has a lot to do with them all. Americans are one of the fattest nations in the world and no wonder. Just look at what we’re eating!
Part of the problem is our lifestyle. We are all so busy all the time, packing our agendas to the max. Corporations trying to squeeze more work out of less people. Dining out and ordering carry-out seem to make sense in terms of saving time. But then the pounds start piling on, the blood pressure sky-rockets and so does the sugar level. What then?
Before you get to that point, I’d like to share some ideas I’ve implemented lately to help cut down on salt aka sodium, keep my weight in check and keep my sugar levels stable. Good news is it really is not all that complicated or time-consuming to make a few simple changes.
1) Make your own salad dressing. Check the sodium labels of your favorite salad dressing and you may be shocked. Sodium intake should be under 2000 mg per day. All you need is a good oil like olive oil or grapeseed oil, a nice vinegar and some herbs. I like to used balsamic vinegar but apple cider vinegar is good and so is rice vinegar. Experiment. Then add a touch of herbs and no-salt seasoning and voila! Low sodium salad dressing using what’s already in your cupboard.
2) Make your own spaghetti sauce. Another high salt item. The tomato-based ones are around 400-600 mg. The cheese based ones can go over 700 mg. That’s almost half your daily allotment in one meal. Simply open a can of organic tomatoes. Add your favorite herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic. Heat and spoon over your favorite pasta.
3) Summer time and who doesn’t love iced tea? But some of them are sugar-laden. Not a problem. Make your own. As a year -round tea lover, I enjoy trying different combinations of teas. My latest favorite is sweet rose/cinnamon tulsi tea. Tulsi tea, otherwise known as “holy basil” is an indian tea which calms the mind , relaxes the body, lowers blood pressure and has numerous other health benefits. Sweeten as desired with either Stevia or Agave nectar. Low calorie,low sugar and quite refreshing on a hot summer day. Another idea is to add mint leaves to the pot for a minty more energizing effect.
So there are a few tips on how to reduce those bad boys in your diet. Try them and let me know how they work for you. Pass them on and do share your own healthy make-your-own tips with us!
Until next time, here’s to all our good health and long life!