Homemade Marinades - A Healthy Cooking Technique to Reduce Sodium

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The Deal on Marinades

When many of us think of marinades, we don’t take into account of what they really consist of. Sure, we look at the ingredients to see what kind of flavor the bottle will have to offer our meat, but we should be looking even closer. Store bought marinades may say they are low fat or even fat free, which can be true, however they still can cause you to gain weight. While many of these marinades only have about 30-40 calories in them, they also have an extremely high amount of sodium.

Now you may be asking yourself, why do you need to worry so much about the sodium intake in a marinade? The problem with sodium is that it is salt, and salt can cause some major health problems when ingested frequently, such as high cholesterol, heart attack and stroke. The other health issues sodium can cause is weight gain. How, you ask? Salt causes a body to become bloated and retain water and in return will start putting on the extra pounds.

So what can a person do to stay away from high sodium marinades? You may be thinking that it is bad enough that you have to watch the labels for the fat and calorie content, but now you have to look at how much sodium a bottle of marinade has as well! Unfortunately, you really do have to watch out for high sodium in everything, including your favorite marinades.

Homemade Marinades

To decrease the amount of sodium in your diet, try making your own marinade instead of going to the store to buy the pre-made ones. Not only are homemade marinades better for you health wise, but they are better for your wallet too.

Here is a simple example of a healthy marinade you can make for your next meal.

Garlic Lemon Chicken Marinade

Ingredients you will need:

  • 4 lg. skinless/boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of olive oil
  • 1 half of lemon
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp of oregano

In a large dish, combine oil, garlic, and oregano. Stir. Squeeze the lemon into the mixture and stir again. Add chicken to ingredients and make sure the mixture touches all sides and angles of the chicken. Keep in refrigerator for about 25 minutes to marinade. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Once chicken is marinated, cook for 25 minutes. You will have juicy, tasty and healthy chicken in no time!

The American Heart Association recommends that a healthy person should try to eat less than 2,300mg of salt per day and a person with high blood pressure should eat less than 1,500mg per day. That seems pretty unlikely if you are using most of your sodium intake on a marinade that has about 1000mg in it. Instead of wasting your salt on marinades, make your own to lessen the load. You will feel better about what you are eating and your wallet will thank you too!