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Easy ways to reduce salt in the kitchen

April 22, 2010 at 1:47 AM

BOSTON, April 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. government has decided against regulating salt, but chefs and public health researchers offer ways to reduce sodium in the kitchen

Experts at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., say a 35 percent reduction in the average daily sodium intake of Americans could save some 90,000 lives and billions of dollars annually on healthcare costs by reducing blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke.

To lower salt consumption, the experts suggest to:

-- Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables because they are good sources of potassium -- the body needs more potassium than sodium. Produce is naturally low in sodium and will displace high-sodium foods.

-- Use the right fats, such as healthy oils, nuts and avocados, which can enhance flavor.

-- Buy better quality raw ingredients, such as those at local farmer's markets that have maximum flavor and need less salt.

-- Searing, sauteing and roasting boost flavors, allowing for less salt.

-- Use spices, dried and fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, citrus, vinegars and wine to boost flavors.

Other suggestions on "Cutting Salt and Sodium," are online at hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt.

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