Hypertension or high blood pressure is sometimes called the "silent killer" because people can't feel high blood pressure. Try this blend of herbs to replace salt at the dinner table and reduce your sodium intake.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is sometimes called the "silent killer" because people can't feel high blood pressure. Although there are some signs or symptoms of hypertension, they are easily overlooked.


According to Jananne Finck, University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator, most individuals can eat more sodium than recommended without raising their blood pressure because they can excrete the excess fairly efficiently.


However, some people cannot. These people are sodium sensitive and too much sodium increases their blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor if you should limit your sodium intake.


To help those who want to reduce sodium intake but still crave flavor, we encourage replacing salt with herbs. Herb blends contain just a trace of sodium and can add great flavor to a low-sodium diet.


The recipe given is from USDA and uses herbs that many have in their kitchen.


Shaker Spice Blend


5 teaspoons onion powder


2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder


2 1/2 teaspoons paprika


2 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard


1 1/4 teaspoons thyme leaves, crushed


1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper


1/4 teaspoon celery seed


Mix thoroughly and place in shaker for use at table, on main dishes, vegetables, soups or salads.


Sodium: 1.78 milligrams per teaspoon


Herbed Seasoning


2 tablespoons dried basil leaves, crumbled


2 tablespoons onion powder


1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled


1 teaspoon celery seed


1/4 teaspoon grated dried lemon peel


Pinch freshly ground pepper


Combine all ingredients in small bowl and blend well. Spoon into shaker and use with poultry and fish. Store in cool dry place.


Sodium: 0.65 milligrams per teaspoon.


-- University of Illinois Extension Family Nutrition Program Materials/ USDA