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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Avoid High Sodium Level Foods

By Pamela Redwine

Many foods in the grocery store are laden with a lot of added sodium.  Here are the danger foods along with ideas of how to make better substitutions to lower the amount of sodium you eat:

• Canned foods – most canned foods are very high in sodium.  Soups, canned tomatoes, pasta sauce, canned veggies and pasta dishes are included in this mix.  Choose canned foods that have no salt added or use fresh items instead.

• Deli meat and cheese is high in sodium – use fresh chicken or fish, canned tuna, nut butter without added salt

• Frozen dinners are very high in sodium.  Choose frozen veggies and make your own meals with fresh poultry/fish and plain rice or pasta

• Boxed pasta and rice mixes are very high in salt – use plain rice or pasta with seasonings instead

• Grain items like bread, crackers, and packaged cereals are high in salt – choose lower salt versions instead

• Pickled foods, dressings and condiments are high in sodium; choose fresh veggies and vinegar

Cook Without Salt

Choose salt-free herbs and seasonings to flavor your food instead of using salt:

• Dried or fresh herbs

• Garlic or ginger

• Flavored vinegars and salt-free condiments

Choose Better When Eating Out

Most restaurant foods are laden with sodium.  Here is how to make better choices:

• Know before you go – most of your favorite places are likely to have nutrition information online – be aware of what you are ordering and make better choices

• Order plain items without salt – like baked fish or chicken, baked potatoes, pasta with diced fresh tomatoes, steamed veggies, a plain burger without condiments.

• Avoid: deli meat, breaded items, cheese, bread, olives, mustard, pickles, pretzels, sauces, sauces, soups, dressing.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that people take in 3,436 milligrams a day of sodium.  69 percent of those people, who are at risk for high blood pressure, should consume no more than 1,500 mg daily, according to the report.

Article Source: Communicating Food for Health


Recipe of the Week

Chicken Enchiladas

These easy saucy enchiladas received an enthusiastic thumbs-up from the Tex-Mex lovers on our staff.


1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Cooking spray

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

3 (10-ounce) cans enchilada sauce, divided

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup diced tomato

1/3 cup sliced ripe olives

4 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place chicken in a large saucepan, and cover with water; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook 15 minutes or until chicken is done.  Drain; cool slightly.  Shred chicken with 2 forks; set aside.

3.    Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium-high heat until hot.  Add onion, cilantro, and jalapeno, and saute’ until onion is tender.  Add shredded chicken and 1 can enchilada sauce, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.    Pour remaining 2 cans enchilada sauce into a small skillet; bring to a simmer.  Dip corn tortillas, 1 at a time, into enchilada sauce; divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas, and roll up.  Place enchiladas, seam sides down, in a 13×9-inch baking dish.  Pour warm enchilada sauce over enchiladas; sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until enchiladas are thoroughly heated and cheese melts.  Sprinkle evenly with tomato and olives.  Serve each enchilada over 1/2 cup lettuce.

Yield:  8 servings

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