One more interesting article from Lifeme.gr, with 10 tips on how to cut back on salt.
Our every day need of salt, do not exceed 5 grams, (i.e. about a teaspoon). Unfortunately, people consume much more than their body needs and often more than 10 grams per day. The reasons are many; the convenience food and the prepared meals we buy, are rich in salt. It is estimated that 75% of the salt we eat comes from prepared meals or food.
Salt adds flavor to our food, making it particularly popular. Both in the cooking of food and in our dish, the addition of salt is a deeply rooted habit.
But, how well do you know salt, its beneficial effects, but also the serious dangers that can be caused by its careless use?
Salt, or otherwise sodium chloride, is necessary for life. It is essential in a lot of body functions. It is a basic electrolyte in the blood, and there are various mechanisms in our body that help maintain salt within limits (hormones, renal function, nutrition).
Sinking below normal levels is dangerous and may even lead to death. But excessive salt consumption poses serious risks such as high blood pressure, myocardial infarction and strokes.
To reduce salt in your diet, avoid adding salt to food by following these tips:
- If you consume foods rich in salt such as feta and olives, pour them into water before eating them. Ready-to-eat foods contain large amounts of sodium because sodium is a preservative of food. Avoid ready-made sauces, chips and prepared meals.
- By cooking your own meals, you can check how much salt is on your plate. Choose fresh meat, poultry and fish instead of processed or smoked. If you consume cans like tuna, rinse the contents to remove the salt.
- Read the labels of the foods you want to consume. Choose foods with low sodium concentration, such as cereals, crackers, pasta sauces, canned vegetables, and any other low-salt foods.
- Prefer foods listed on the “free salt” package (<5mg sodium per serving), “very low sodium content” (<35mg sodium per serving) or “no salt added”. Also, observe ingredients such as monosodium glutamate, baking soda, baking powder and sodium benzoate, which are components of salt. Also choose foods with less than 5% sodium per serving. Sodium is a “ingredient” of salt and you should eat less than 2,400 mg a day.
- Replace salt with herbs or other seasonings such as rosemary, thyme, basil, onion, garlic, parsley, mint, curry, coriander, ginger, oregano, etc.
- Use vegetables to flavor your food. Eat foods rich in potassium that eliminate salt from our body. Potassium balances the high sodium concentration and may limit the effects of salt on blood pressure.
- Potassium-rich foods are: 1.Fresh fruits such as banana and pear, and store-bought fruit juices, rich in potassium and without sodium 2. Vegetables, such as spinach, tomato, broccoli and lentils. 3. Fresh fish such as salmon 4. Semi-skimmed dairy products, and finally, 5. Potassium-rich spread products
- If you are eating out, ask not to add salt to your dish. In foods that do not contain sauce replace the salt with lemon juice, its intense flavor covers the reduced salt content.
- Add the salt at the end of the cooking and not at the beginning. This way you have more intense flavor with less amount of salt.
- Make sure your salt pack has very small holes to add small amounts of salt to your food every time you use it. The gradual reduction of salt from your diet does not mean that your food will be tasteless, but the benefits will be great for both your body weight and health.
It is worth trying!