Though salt is an irreplaceable part of your diet, too much of it can cause a number of health problems. High sodium diet can lead to problems like blood pressure and higher chances of strokes. An average adult requires about 1500 milligrams of salt daily but most people end up consuming a lot more. This is because, people fail to realise the ‘hidden sources’ of salt like packaged food, breads and nuts, which we consume daily. So, how do you reduce your salt intake? Read on to find out more.
Spices instead of salt
While cooking, you must experiment with different condiments like garlic, ginger, pepper, basil leaves, lime, chilly, thyme and oregano to add flavour to your dish. Then add half the amount of salt than the usual and taste your dish. You will be surprised to see that it tastes good even with less salt.
Avoid processed foods
Never opt for ready-to-eat foods, like gravies, soups, instant noodles and sauces as they contain high levels of sodium. Avoid using cheddar cheese and opt for mozzarella instead.
Shop with your eyes open
Before you add an item to your grocery basket, check its nutrient list. Keep your eyes on its sodium levels. Avoid buying packaged pickle, mustard or mayonnaise as they have a high salt content. Look for labels that would read ‘low sodium’ or ‘no added salt’.
Say no to salt while eating out
In many restaurants the chefs tend to season dishes generously, thus spiking its sodium content. So, request your waiter to make your dish without salt. Add a little salt once the dish comes to your table. While ordering pizza or pasta, opt for vegetable toppings instead of pepperoni or bacon. Never ask for extra cheese or white sauce, as they contain a lot of salt. Opt for plain rice as it has lesser salt content than biryani or fried rice.
While peanuts and dry fruits are healthy snack options, they contain a lot of salt. That is why, you must buy only the unsalted varieties. Potato chips should be an occasion treat, not a daily snack. Even when you are making a salad, stay away from salt. You can also munch on cucumbers and carrots without dipping them in a cheesy sauce.
Make smart changes in your diet
Swap processed and other high sodium food items with natural foods, which contain very little or no salt. Go for items like low-fat dairy products like milk and yoghurt. You can also add more fresh fruits, vegetable, fish, meat, eggs and more to your diet. You can also pick up foods with potassium, which help to lower your blood pressure. Go for sweet potatoes, kidney beans, bananas, oats, etc.
Train your taste buds
You should reduce your salt intake little by little. Start adding less salt in your food and over a period of time, you will notice that your taste buds will start adjusting to a low salt diet.
Lock up your salt shaker
A low sodium diet can be difficult to get used to initially. If you keep the salt shaker right in front of your eyes, you will be tempted to add a little salt. To resist temptation and stick to your diet, keep the salt shaker in an inconvenient place, far away from you.
A low salt diet will lead to a long and healthy life. So, don’t wait any longer, time to take the first step now!