It adds flavour to any dish, can make insipid food taste better, has been used to stimulate taste-buds since ancient times, and is essential for maintaining good health. Yes we’re talking about salt – one of the most indispensable ingredients in our food.
But did you know that having too much can be bad for you? Mainly because Sodium in salt can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and strokes. This is why food experts suggest using restraint when it comes to consuming salt.
What do experts recommend?
We should eat no more than 6g of salt per day, i.e. about 1 teaspoon. This is the recommended amount when following a healthy diet that helps maintain a healthy circulation and heart.
What foods are high in salt?
1 teaspoon of salt a day may not seem like much. But remember that this not only includes the salt we add to cooking and salads, but also the salt already available in everyday food, such as:
- Processed food such as processed meat (sausages, corned beef), canned food, soups, sauces, stock cubes, potato chips, popcorn, salty biscuits, tortillas, etc.
- Salted nuts, pickles, olives
- Condiments like barbecue sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, mustard
- Food additives like MSG (found in Chinese food)
What can I do to reduce the salt in my diet?
You needn’t stop eating foods that contain salt, but it is a good idea to reduce the amount you eat.
- Reduce the amount of salt used in cooking.
- Do not add salt to your food at the table. Remember that salt is an acquired taste, so try to decrease this habit gradually.
- Limit high-salt foods such as canned and pickled products, processed meats, and salty appetizers.
How can I reduce the amount of salt in my cooking?
Salt adds flavour to our meals; trying to stop salt suddenly will result in you and your family not enjoying the taste, so slowly reduce the amount of salt that you add to your cooking and make your low-salt recipes tasteful by:
- Using spices like white or black pepper to enhance flavour
- Adding richer flavours to your recipes like vegetables such as garlic, onions, ginger and fresh pepper. Vegetables are naturally low in salt and rich in potassium, which is important for a healthy circulation.
- Using natural herbs such as parsley, basil, coriander, mint and thyme as much as possible to season dishes and boost flavour
- Marinating food using lemon and vinegar to enhance the flavour
Good to know:
When using stock cubes to add flavour to your cooking, like MAGGI bouillon cube, avoid adding more salt while cooking or at the table, because it already contains salt.