Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. And if you already have high blood pressure, you are three times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than a person with normal blood pressure.
Salt is one of those tastes that you simply get used to. If you tend to put salt on your food, you are used to its flavour on your tongue and you may find it difficult to avoid. Or if you are in the habit of eating salty snacks or take-away chicken and fries, then you may find less salty foods rather bland.
But, just as you got into the habit of enjoying a salty flavour, you can slowly wean yourself off, and that will benefit your long term health.
Now here's a staggering fact: Around three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy! Use the tips below to help reduce the amount of salt you eat.
- Check labels of ready made foods like ready meals, canned foods and snacks. Compare brands and choose those which are lower in salt or sodium per serving.
- Use less salt in cooking. You may be used to pouring salt straight from a container, but instead, use a teaspoon to measure the amount added. Measure how much you normally use in a curry for four people, and try to gradually use less so that your recipe only needs one teaspoon.
- Taste your food before adding salt. You may not need it!
- Be aware of bought seasonings, stocks, sauces and flavourings that you use in cooking as they may also be rich in salt. Try using more herbs, spices, lemon juice, garlic and ginger instead of salt.
- Many snacks foods like chevda, ganthia and sev are high in salt. Choose unsalted nuts or popcorn instead.
Remember to choose Nutrition Centre recipes that are either amber or green for salt. Healthy food doesn't need to be boring!