We need salt in the body to maintain fluid balance within our cells, and to transport water around the body. Adults generally should not consume more than 6g per day, which is roughly the size of a teaspoon. However, the 2018 / 2019 National Diet and Nutrition Survey revealed that we, as a population, are still exceeding this recommended daily amount, averaging around 8.4g per day.
Too much salt has detrimental effects on the body through raising the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. It’s therefore highly important that we become more mindful of our how much we consume. If you’re unsure of where to start, read on for Salt: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Intake!
1. Watch Your Snacks
Since salt is used as a preservative or a flavour enhancer, certain snacks such as cereal bars, salted nuts, olives, breads, and breakfast cereals tend to contain high levels. However, this can be easily avoided through swapping your snacks for alternatives such as fruits, vegetables, or unsalted trail-mix.
2. Check the Labels
Next time you purchase any kind of canned fruits, vegetables, and baked beans, check the labels first as these food items also tend to contribute considerably to your salt intake. Here, you can either opt for the ‘no-added’ alternatives or buy your fruits and vegetable raw.
3. Reduce your Meat Intake
Cured, smoked, and processed meats such as bacon, sausages, and chorizo, owing to their processing, also contribute considerably to high salt intakes. Try substituting for high-protein, vegetable alternatives such as chickpeas. Otherwise, if that’s too much of a jump, make sure you keep your intake of red and processed meat to below 70g per day.
4. Ditch the Dips
Just because sauces and condiments don’t taste salty doesn’t mean that they don’t contain high levels of salt. Next time you purchase your ketchup, mayonnaise, and soy sauce, try switching for the ‘reduced’ substitutes to effortlessly lower your consumption.
5. Switch out the Table Salt
Using table salt as a seasoning is one of the main reasons that we are consuming too much as a population. However, ditching the table variety does not mean that you have to lose the flavour. There are numerous other herbs and spices which will perfectly complement your meals and make you forget about salt once and for all.
So, next time you reach out to put salt on your chips, try adding Cajun spice instead, or get experimenting in the kitchen and find your favourite herbs and spices! Making these 5 easy swaps is an effortless way to reduce your intake. Switching for reduced-salt alternatives and limiting your consumption of processed foods and meats will have huge positive effects on your health. What are your favourite low-salt recipes and substitutes? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!