Looking for healthy salty snacks to satisfy your salt cravings? Everyone craves salt from time to time. And for most people, it’s okay to indulge once in a while.
In fact, sodium, which is a component of salt, is essential for health. We need it to stay alive and for proper organ function.
While sodium is essential, too much can cause health problems like high blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure increases the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.
Surprisingly, salt from the salt shaker is not the largest contributor to sodium intake. In fact, 70% of the sodium most people eat comes from packaged foods, processed foods, fast foods and restaurant foods. Needless to say, this makes it difficult to control your sodium intake.
To regain control, it is best to opt for healthy homemade salty snacks. And there are plenty of options that can satisfy your salt cravings without breaking your sodium budget.
Salt vs Sodium
Sodium refers to the dietary mineral sodium. It is found in almost all foods, added naturally or during processing.
Salt refers to the crystalline compound, sodium chloride. In other words, the salt in your salt shaker. Salt is about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. For reference, 1 tsp. salt is about 2,300 mg of sodium.
How much do you need
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend lowering the daily sodium for adults to less than 2,300 mg per day. This is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon. of salt. Keep in mind that most of the sodium you consume is “hidden.”
This means that it is already in the food, either natural or added during processing. Sodium is naturally present in unprocessed, whole foods. Things like meat, milk, fish, fruits and vegetables. But most of the sodium in the diet comes from processed foods, restaurant foods and fast foods.
The best way to reduce sodium in your diet is to eat whole foods as much as possible. This way you have more control over your sodium intake. You can also use food labels to help control sodium from packaged foods.
Low sodium is defined as less than 140 mg of sodium per serving. However, don’t forget to write down the portion size. You may be eating a “low sodium” food, but eating 3 servings will triple your sodium intake.
7 Healthy Salty Snacks
These 7 delicious and nutritious healthy salty snacks will satisfy your salt cravings. Check out this roundup of 7 salty and delicious snack ideas.
Olives are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats. Because they are cured, olives are usually very high in sodium. The good news is that most stores stock low-sodium versions.
You can lower sodium levels even further by rinsing olives with water before eating. Keep in mind that the sodium can add up quickly if you exceed the serving size.
2. Homemade Sweet Potato Fries
These sweet and savory fries are packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into sticks 3 tbsp. olive oil Homemade salt-free seasoning (mix 1/2 teaspoon paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and other salt-free seasonings you like).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 2 large baking sheets. Mix together homemade salt-free seasoning. Place sweet potato sticks in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle the oil-coated sticks with the homemade salt-free seasoning and sprinkle with sea salt. Spread the potatoes on the greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, turn them over and bake for a further 10 minutes until crispy.
3. Homemade Pickles
Chances are, you’ll be avoiding pickles if you’ve tried lowering your sodium intake. But did you know that you can also make your own healthy homemade pickles?
2 medium gherkins 3 sprigs fresh dill1/2 tbsp. sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 2 cloves garlic 1/2 sweet onion, sliced 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1 cup water 1/2 tsp. turmeric 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
Cut the pickles into skewers or slices. To a glass jar, add fresh dill, garlic cloves, and sweet onion slices. Pack the sliced cucumbers in it. In a medium saucepan, combine apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, black pepper, turmeric, and ground mustard. Heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers until submerged. You may not need all the liquid. Or if you’re running short, just add more vinegar until the jar is full. Let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. Beet hummus
Beet hummus is packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber and antioxidants. Pair it with raw veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and celery for a super healthy, satisfying snack.
As with all packaged foods, check the label for sodium content. Look for a product with 100 mg of sodium or less per serving, like this one on Amazon. Don’t forget to check the portion size. The serving size for hummus is usually 2 tbsp.
5. Seaweed Snacks
Seaweed snacks, like these on Amazon, are great low-calorie salty snacks. And they’re actually low in sodium at 45 mg per container.
But not all brands are comparable in sodium content, so check the label.
Depending on the preparation, popcorn can be a healthy snack. Opt for homemade air-popped popcorn. This way you have control over the amount of salt you add. You can even avoid using salt by using salt-free toppings. Things like garlic powder, paprika, cumin, ground mustard, nutritional yeast, and rosemary.
This savory edamame snack is easy to make and packed with protein and fiber.
1 lb bag frozen edamame pods 1 tbsp. sesame oil 2 tsp. chopped garlic 2 tsp. chopped gingerOptional, red pepper flakesSea salt
Cook the edamame pods as directed on the package and drain. In a large skillet, saute the cooked edamame pods in sesame oil for just a few minutes (3-5), letting the pods brown lightly. Add minced garlic and ginger. Add red pepper flakes if you like a spicy taste. Stir for 2 minutes on low heat. Add to a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, let cool and enjoy.
More savory snack ideas
This list of salty snacks is full of healthy options to satisfy your salt cravings:
Sprouted bread toast with avocado, sprinkled with sea salt, garlic and onion powderLightly salted nuts (cashew nuts, almonds)Cashew and date barGreek yogurt with nuts and fruitCheese (low sodium) with sliced apples and nutsDate filled with nut butterBanana or apple slices with nut butterLightly salted trail mix with sea salt and black pepper Sprouted toast with peanut butter, banana slices and chia seeds
For more healthy snack ideas, check out these articles:
Sodium is an essential nutrient that the body needs in small amounts. Eating too much overtime can be harmful. Most of the sodium people consume comes from processed and packaged foods, restaurants and fast foods.
The good news is that there are plenty of healthy salty snack options that can satisfy your salty cravings without sacrificing taste. The key is preparation. Have healthy snacks at home. Besides keeping your kitchen stocked with the ingredients you need to make healthy homemade snacks.
This post 7 Healthy Salty Snacks That’ll Totally Satisfy Your Salt Cravings￼￼ was original published at “https://www.fitwirr.com/nutrition/healthy-salty-snacks/”