The Reason You Should Always Buy Low-Sodium Canned Chili

Ever heard the saying, "the salt of life?"

This phrase dates back to the Shakespearean era. In his 1597 "The Merry Wives of Windsor," the character Shallow says, "We have some salt of our youth in us." Merriam-Webster defines someone described as "the salt of the earth" as "a very good and honest person or group of people. Use: These folks are the salt of the earth." This is the highest praise imaginable. So salt must be the best thing ever, right? It can be, but too much of a good thing –- even the best thing –- is bad.

Canned chili gets a bad rap and, in some instances, it might be warranted. According to Healthy Eating, the average one-cup serving of canned chili with beans packs a whopping 1,336 milligrams of sodium. But there's a way to avoid this sodium load and amp up the flavor of your canned chili that will transform it into a comfort dish with a homemade taste. If you've never considered reaching for a low-sodium canned chili in the grocery aisle, these tips are sure to make you reconsider.

Add your own salt and spices

Josiah Citrin, Michelin-starred chef and founder of renowned California restaurants Mélisse and Charcoal Venice, swears by low-sodium canned chili. If you're starting with a low base level of salt, he says via Greatist, you can better adjust the flavor profile to your liking. Chili that's already heavily salted masks whatever spices you might add after cracking open the can. You can decide which spices to add, but Citrin recommends cumin, ground chili, chipotle spice, and coriander. For an additional boost, try toasting your spices to bring out their natural essential oils, which give spices their unique flavors.

If you want, you can even add more sodium into the mix. There's a variety of salts to help you achieve whatever taste you want. Try adding smoked salt or this roasted garlic sea salt for a totally new salty taste. With these tips in mind, you'll be ready to bring the "salt of life" to the table with a chili recipe that tastes homemade, doesn't leave you bloated, and comes from a can.