We all know that a lot of salt is bad for our health. Yet most of us still eat too much of it, in processed foods or by using it to add flavour to our home-cooked meals.
Whilst some salt in our diet is essential, too much can lead to serious health complications including raised blood pressure, which in itself can lead to heart problems, kidney issues and more.
According to the World Health Organization ( WHO), more than 1 in 5 adults have high blood pressure. One of the things we can do to control our blood pressure is to reduce the salt we consume.
The WHO recommends a daily intake of no more than 5g of salt. But around the world, the average person eats 9–12g a day, roughly twice the recommended amount.
So, what can we do to reduce our salt intake?
Cut down on processed foods
Processed foods account for about 75% of the sodium intake in our diet. Check the label, a healthy level is less than 140mg of sodium. Things to watch out for are:
- Packaged soups
- Canned foods
- Frozen meals
- Fast foods
- Pre-prepared meals
Avoiding naturally high sodium foods
Reduce the frequency of consuming high salt foods, or eat smaller portions of them. These include:
- Gravy granules
- Soya sauce
Check the labels
Many products have low or no salt variants and salt is often found in the most unlikely of foods.
Check your supplements
If you routinely take an effervescent vitamin supplement or take effervescent painkillers, it's worth remembering that these can contain up to 1g of salt per tablet. This is one-fifth of the recommended daily intake. It may be checking if there is a different variety that contains less salt.
Reducing your salt intake doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavour. There are plenty of options to add flavour and keep your meals healthy, why not try:Adding acids: Citrus fruits bring out the natural brightness of foods and help to bring out their flavour. Add to salad dressings or roast vegetables and it will taste like summer all year round.
Try alliums: All members of this group add great flavour, onions and garlic can be added to most meals to generate flavour. Try roasting them or simply rubbing them over meat or vegetables for a real flavour burst.
Keep it spicy: A great way to change a dish without adding calories, fat or salt. Add some cumin to a chicken breast and you have a completely different meal if you had add cinnamon. Go on spice it up a little, you may find a new favourite.
Use Mustards: Instead of just spreading on a sandwich why not try cooking with mustard, add it to scrambled eggs and instantly you have elevated the dish, add it to pasta and again a new flavour.
Benefit from herbs: There are so many different herbs that can be used to add flavour to a dish and many of them have the bonus of a health advantage, did you know for example that Basil contains flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants or that mint is a great source of Vitamin C?
Cook with superfood juices: Although you may lose some of the enzymes by heating our superfood juices, many of the nutritional components will remain. Try adding our ginger and turmeric juice to a soup or our beetroot juice to mashed potato - you'll be in for a treat!
There are so many ways to cut down on salt, we all just need to take the first step. Constantly working towards taking control of our health and a healthier lifestyle. An easy way to start is to incorporate our superfood juices into your diet. Choose from our range to find your favourite.