Healthy Heart 2011

By WBNG News

February 8, 2011 Updated Feb 8, 2011 at 7:56 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Healthy Heart 2011 is underway. Every Tuesday this month, Wies Dietician Beth Stark will share information to maintain a healthy heart. She's with our own Cristina Frank.

The newly released 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend capping sodium at 1,500 milligrams per day-that's nearly 1000 milligrams less than the previous limit. Weis Markets registered dietitian Beth Stark is here to show you how to pinch the salt and keep the flavor.

Hi Beth!

Hi Cristina!

Salt plays an important role in many recipes. It brightens flavors, balances bitterness and tenderizes. In some cases you can't simply omit it without altering the finished dish so I like to use stealth ways to reduce it with a pinch here and a pinch there.

Where's a good place to start?

A simple solution is to taste before you salt. When you're cooking with naturally salty ingredients like aged cheeses, broth or olives, you may be able to greatly reduce or skip the added salt altogether. After tasting, if you determine salt is needed, add it towards the end of cooking. This way the taste will remain bright when the meal is served and you won't be tempted to grab the salt shaker at the table.

I like to experiment with herbs and spices.

Me too! Dried herbs and spices add tons of flavor to recipes and you can have fun trying new combinations. Certain herbs and spices also provide antioxidant amounts comparable to some fruits and vegetables.

I also like to use acidic ingredients like lemon juice and flavored vinegars to make marinades, dressings and pan sauces. They trick your taste buds into sensing saltiness but they're salt free!

Is sea salt healthier than regular salt?

Great question! Equal weights of sea salt, table salt and kosher salt have the same amount of sodium. The coarse-grained texture of sea and kosher salt allows fewer granules to fit into a measuring spoon compared to fine grained table salt resulting in less sodium. In other words, 1 tsp. of coarse sea and kosher salt has less sodium than 1 tsp. of fine grained table salt.

And what can we do while we're cooking to trim the salt?

Certain cooking techniques actually add flavor. When you roast, it browns and caramelizes foods resulting in a wonderful savory flavor. Roasted meats, vegetables and potatoes are fabulous without adding anything but a drizzle of olive oil before they go in the oven. Grilling and searing can do this too!

I'm ready to cook with less salt! Thanks Beth!
For more ways to pinch the salt in your diet, pick up volume #47 of HealthyBites magazine in stores or online at www.weismarkets.com.

Healthy Heart 2011 is sponsored by the American Heart Association, United Health Services, Cornell Cooperative Extension, all Weis Markets, and WBNG-TV.

You can always call the American Heart Association at 723-0208.

For medical questions, you can call UHS Nurse Direct at 763-5555, or toll free at 1-800-295-8088.

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