Many people feel that they can't eat a meal without adding salt, but there is plenty of salt in the food we eat anyway. Regular excessive salt intake can have a major impact on your heart health, so it's best to try and keep your salt consumption to a minimum.
Here are our top tips for reducing salt intake:
1. Don't add salt at the table, or at least wait until you've tried it before adding the salt! So many times I see people reach for the salt before they have even tasted their food, because they assume it will need salt. This is a recipe for disaster. Try your food before adding anything to it. If it does need something, why not try pepper, chili or lemon juice instead? It doesn't always need to be salt!
2. Make a goal to cut down on salt. One of the comments I often hear is that foods taste bland without salt, but the beauty of our bodies is that our taste buds will adjust! Just like they adjusted to wanting so much salt in the first place, it is possible to retrain your taste buds to having less salt and still enjoying the flavour of your meal!
3. Be more adventurous! Instead of relying on salt for flavour, experiment with different herbs and spices during cooking to liven up your meal. Basil, coriander, chili, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, spring onions, chives and mint are all readily available (and you could easily grow them at home too) and make fantastic flavour additions to your meals.
4. Choose low salt options. When you buy tinned goods like chickpeas, kidney beans and corn, as well as stocks you can usually find the low-salt or no-added-salt option. This is an easy way to reduce your salt intake without having to think about swapping it with another flavour!
5. Avoid packaged and processed foods. The more processed a food is, the more likely it is that salt was used as a preservative. When you are buying packaged foods, always check the salt or sodium content per 100g - it should be less than 400mg. If its more than this, it probably isn't a good option.