Reducing this everyday food item can really help your health.
No one can deny that salt makes everything tastier, but it’s also important to remember to eat it in moderation and get the balance right.
“A diet that’s high in salt has been shown to increase blood pressure, as the extra salt in the blood vessels is escorted by additional water,” accredited practising dietitian Joel Feren explains. “This causes extra strain on your heart to effectively pump the blood around the body. Reducing salt in your diet can ease the pressure on your blood vessels and reduce the burden on the heart.”
Joel goes on to detail diets that are high in salt have been linked to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and osteoporosis.
Since there’s salt in items that you may not necessarily think about, Joel reveals some simple strategies to help reduce your overall salt (sodium) intake:
Fresh is best
Reducing certain packaged foods can reduce your overall sodium intake.
“Much of the sodium we eat is derived from processed foods,” Joel says. “By all means, continue to eat whole grain cereals and breads as well tinned legumes and canned fish, but reduce your overall consumption of chips, salty crackers, processed meats etc. Instead, up your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats and protein alternatives as well as whole grains.”
Both your heart and your waistline will be thanking you for the change.
Instead of loading your dinner with salt to add a flavor hit, try experimenting with different herbs and spices.
“Team tomato dishes with basil, fish with dill and beef with rosemary,” Joel suggests. “There’s a perfect fit for each key ingredient.”
At first, some things where you reduce or swap salt out may be a shock for your taste buds, but don’t worry they will adapt.
Who knows, you may even find new combinations that you like better than your regular salty creations.
Low-sodium is key
Wherever possible, Joel advises to be on the lookout for low-sodium options.There are many salt-reduced items that are easily available.
“For example, Heart SALT is unique and innovative salt with far less sodium (56 per cent less) than its traditional counterpart,” he says.