A lot of our food has a lot of added salt, especially in processed and packaged foods. Salt can be a big contributor to heart disease and other health problems, so a lot of people are now trying to limit their salt intake. If this is you, you’ll know that this isn’t an easy task. If you want to reduce the amount of salt that you eat, try some of these tips.
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- Read the product labels. If you’re buying any processed or packaged foods, take a moment to read the nutrition label before you add it to your basket. You might be surprised by which foods contain salt and just how much is hidden in there. By reading the labels, you can make informed decisions about the food you buy and choose lower salt options. Low sodium doesn’t have to mean low flavour though. Try options like Umami sauce, which have plenty of taste with less need for salt.
- Prepare your own meals. If you cook from scratch at home instead of ordering in or eating processed options, you can control how much salt you put in. Find inspiration for new recipes to try and eat fresh, healthy meals that you’ve cooked yourself.
- Buy fresh ingredients. The more processed something is, the more salt it’s likely to contain. Instead of buying things like pre-prepared vegetables or meats, choose the fresh option, which has no added salt. Fresh ingredients will be better for those from scratch meals you’re cooking as well.
- Rinse canned foods. There are some things you need to buy canned, like tinned tuna, beans and pulses. These often have lots of added salt, so before you eat or cook with them give them a good rinse first. This washes off a lot of the salt, making your dinner a lower sodium option.
- Add spices to your food. If you find you miss salt in your meals, add a punch of flavour with some different herbs and spices. Black pepper, paprika, chilli, cumin, coriander, basil, garlic and lots of others all add lots of tasty flavour, without pushing up the sodium levels in your food. You don’t have to miss out on flavour just because you’re trying to improve your health, so swap the salt for something else.
- Reduce your portion sizes. Most of us are guilty of piling our plates too high, so get a double whammy on improving your health by scaling back your portion sizes. A smaller portion is better for your waistline and naturally contains less salt than a bigger portion. Try serving your meals on smaller plates so you don’t miss the larger portions.
Too much salt makes your heart work much harder, putting you at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, or hypertension. Too much salt is bad for your eyes and your kidneys too. Give your body a break and swap to a lower sodium diet to feel healthier and protect your body for the future.