For most of us, eating healthfully means cutting down on salt. Even if cutting down your salt intake won’t reduce your waist measurement, it’ll make you a healthier person, better able to follow your weight management programme.
But it’s not that simple. Have you ever been confused by the nutritional labels on food? Salt or sodium, what’s the difference?
Salt is the general name given to sodium chloride. 6g of salt contains about 2.5g of sodium. It’s the sodium in salt that can lead to health problems. For example, sodium can lead to higher than recommended blood pressure.
It’s important that you educate yourself to avoid over indulging on salt. You may feel that by reducing your calorie intake and cutting out rich creamy sauces and refined sugars you have all the bases covered. Not necessarily. Sometimes to compensate for reduced fat, you or the manufacturer may add extra seasonings. Salt is one the ways flavour can be added into a low fat diet. Be careful and read food labels carefully.
- Add fresh natural herbs such as basil, coriander, rosemary, mint and thyme to lean protein options such as chicken, tofu and fish.
- Don’t add salt when cooking. Taste the cooked food, then decide how much you need – if any!
- Chop fresh mint onto salads and add fresh basil to tomatoes.
When eating out:
- Don’t add salt until you’ve tried your food. It’s so easy to add it automatically!
- Go easy on salt, and add more pepper instead!
Is Sea Salt Better For You?
How does salt creep into our food?
- Processed foods – watch the labels carefully, you might be amazed!
- Salt we add when cooking or at the table
- Salt found naturally in most foods
- Replace unhealthy salt-laden snacks such as crisps with crunchy soy nuts for an oven-roasted flavour
- Cut down on sauces. Soy sauce is particularly high in salt.
- Choose lower salt stock cubes for cooking, or instead make your own stock with herbs and spices for flavour to casseroles and soups.
- Choose fresh or tinned vegetables that are labelled ‘no added salt’.
- Check nutritional labels before your by.
Note: Average salt intake should be 6g a day as an adult.