Instead of salt, use spices, herbs, lemon juice, and/or vinegar to enhance the taste of your food. The health benefits are life-long.
Wikipedia has provided an extensive list of culinary herbs and spices. The list does not contain salt (which is a mineral) or plants used primarily as herbal teas or medicinal herbs. Explore the different flavors and cultures.
Tips for Selecting and Storing
Herbs and Spices
Spice it Up with
Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD Cutting Back on Salt in Your Diet
from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Where does sodium come from?
Sodium comes from natural sources or are added to foods. Most foods in their natural state contain some sodium. However, the majority of sodium Americans consume comes from sodium added to processed foods by manufacturers. While some of this sodium is added to foods for safety reasons, the amount of salt added to processed foods is above what is required for safety and function of the food supply.
Reading Labels When you buy prepared and packaged foods, read the labels. You can tell the sodium content by looking at the Nutrition Facts panel of a food. Listed are the amount for sodium, in milligrams (mg), and the “% Daily Value.” Also read the ingredient list to watch for the words "soda" (referring to sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda), "sodium" and the symbol "Na" to see if the product contains sodium. Salt and/or Sodium Descriptors Salt Free: Meets requirements for "sodium free." Sodium Free: Fewer than 5 milligrams sodium per serving. Very Low Sodium: 35 milligrams or less sodium per serving. Low Sodium: 140 milligrams or less per serving Reduced Sodium: At least 25 percent less sodium per serving. Unsalted: Has no salt added during processing. To use this term, the product it resembles must normally be processed with salt and the label must note that the food is not a sodium-free food if it does not meet the requirements for "sodium free".
The FDA and USDA state an individual food that has the claim "healthy" must not exceed 480 mg sodium per reference amount. "Meal type" products must not exceed 600 mg sodium per labeled serving size.
Sodium and Hypertension. In order for a food to make an Allowable Health Claim it must contain a defined amount of nutrients. In relationship to sodium and Hypertension the amount is 140 milligrams or less sodium per serving.
American Heart Association (AHA) The American Heart Association recommends you choose and prepare foods with little or no salt to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Aim to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day (less that 3/4 teaspoon of salt). The AHA is working with federal agencies to identify ways to reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply. The association is encouraging food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium in foods by 50 percent over a 10-year period. AHA will help Americans lower the amount of sodium they consume by the following strategies: 1. Reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply, 2. Make more healthy foods available (e.g., more fruits and vegetables); and 3. Provide consumers with education and decision-making tools to make better choices. Tips for reducing sodium in the diet 1. Choose fresh, frozen or canned food items without added salts. 2. Select unsalted nuts or seeds, dried beans, peas and lentils. 3. Limit salty snacks like chips and pretzels. 4. Avoid adding salt and canned vegetables to homemade dishes. 5. Select unsalted, lower sodium, fat-free broths, bouillons or soups. 6. Select fat-free or low-fat milk, low-sodium, low-fat cheeses and low-fat yogurt. 7. Use spices and herbs to enhance the taste of your food. 8. Add fresh lemon juice instead of salt to fish and vegetables. 9. When dining out, ask for your dish to be prepared without salt. 10. Don’t use the salt shaker.
Choose bananas that are firm and free of bruises. Bananas are best to eat when the skin color is solid yellow and speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.
To ripen bananas leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The peel may turn brown in the refrigerator, but the fruit will not change.
If you love bananas, Eating Well has a collection of Banana Recipes you are sure to enjoy.
Chiquita Banana The Original Commercial
Produced by Disney Studios in the 40's, this commercial appeared only in movie theaters, and for over 50 years kept us humming its catchy tune.
DOLE Banana Growing and Planting Dole explains the growing and planting of bananas.
The banana farm at EARTH University uses socially and environmentally responsible practices at every stage of the process. The farm plants trees along river banks to promote biodiversity and reduce harmful erosion. In addition, they do not use herbicides. The farm's eco-friendly practices produce some of the most flavorful bananas in the world.
One of the most dangerous sources of virulent bacteria, including E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and others, is the kitchen sponge and 'dish cloths' in American homes.
Ways To Clean Your Kitchen Sponge or Dish Cloth
ARS food safety experts who specialize in research on foodborne pathogens, looked at several simple, convenient and often-recommended ways of cleaning reusable kitchen sponges. Microwaving and dishwashing each killed nearly 100 percent of the bacteria, with dishwashing being only slightly (0.0001 percent) less effective. And, microwaving and dishwashing each killed nearly all yeasts and molds; less than 1 percent (only 0.00001 percent) survived.
1. Wet the sponge well and microwave it on high for about 2 minutes. Be careful a dry sponge can catch on fire.
2. Wash it in the hot cycle of your washing machine and leave them there through a drying cycle.
3. Clean the sponge and sanitize it in a diluted bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach added to 1 gallon of water) before using a second time.
4. Replace worn sponges rather than reusing.
5. Avoid using your kitchen sponge to wipe up raw eggs, meat juice and other food items typically high in harmful bacteria. If you do use your sponge for such purposes, wash and disinfect it immediately afterward.