5 easy ways to reduce your salt intake
If you think your salt intake isn’t an offensive amount then chances are, you may be wrong. Salt is sneaky, it hides away in food that is processed, in different condiments and your favourite meals that may be deemed as “healthy”.
The good news is, it isn’t difficult to reduce our salt intake. Speaking to Better Homes and Gardens, dietitian Joel Feren said, “Salt – aka – sodium is a necessary nutrient. However, too much of it can lead to heart disease and kidney failure.
“This is because it causes extra strain on your heart to effectively pump the blood around the body. So, reducing sodium in your diet can ease the pressure on your blood vessels and reduce the load on the heart.”
According to the Heart Foundation, 75 per cent of our salt intake comes from processed foods, including sauces. Other culprits are chips, bacon, frozen meals, biscuits and cakes.
Here’s 5 easy ways you can reduce your salt intake:
1. Know how to read labels
“Knowledge is power. If you know what’s in your food, you can make better and more informed choices about what to eat and what to leave on the supermarket shelf,” says Joel. “When it comes to sodium, choose products with less than 400mg per 100g. Better yet, select foods with less than 120mg of sodium per 100g for a gold medal winner.”
2. Try and eat natural foods
“Opting for low-processed foods is gold standard! Much of the sodium we consume is actually derived from processed foods,” says Joel. “Nevertheless, there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater so don’t give up healthy packaged foods like whole grain breakfast cereals and breads, tinned fish or canned lentils, but reduce your intake of chips, processed meats, pretzels etc.”
3. Use this chance to experience new flavours
“Experiment with herbs and spices to maximise flavour,” says Joel. “Well-established flavour combinations include tomato and basil, fish and lemon as well as pork and sage. Jazz it up and discover your own culinary partnerships.”
4. Up your fruit and veggie intake
It’s clear that Aussies don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. In fact, only 7 per cent of us meet our vegetable requirement and a little over half of us meet our fruit requirement each day,” says Joel. “Fruit and vegies contain a wide array of different nutrients, including potassium. This vital mineral opposes the actions of sodium so it can help reduce blood pressure and ease the load on our cardiovascular system.”
5. Switch to a healthier salt
“Ditch regular table salt for Heart SALT! It has 56 per cent less sodium, making it a suitable alternative. Your heart and kidneys will thank you for making the change,” Joel tells Better Homes and Gardens.