05/01/2012 08:23 am ET Updated Jul 01, 2012

Rewriting the Low-Sodium Rules

If I offered you a plate of steaming low-sodium food, chances are your taste buds would quickly retreat, imagining boiled potatoes, steamed broccoli, and a flavorless meal. For one. That's because salt has become synonymous with good taste, good food and, as a result, a full life. Which is why so many people who are told to cut back for health reasons resist the charge. But after living on a salt-free, low-sodium diet for almost a decade, I can guarantee that low-sodium does not have to mean a life of making colorless meals at the kitchen stove by yourself.

Whether you've been told to cut the salt, wheat, nuts, or any other ingredient, the misconception remains the same: If you have dietary limitations, your culinary life will suffer. And that might be because most information on how to approach a special diet focuses on the "cannots" rather than the "cans." Which, no wonder, leaves patients feeling deflated versus inspired.

But let's replace each no with a resounding yes. And since May is Hypertension Month, let's rewrite the 10 commandments of keeping a low-sodium diet (or any special diet for that matter) and focus on how to keep the foods and activities you love while putting your health first.

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