Adding table salt liberally to food and eating lots of processed foods can lead to health issues like high blood pressure, strokes, dementia, osteoporosis and kidney disease.
The Government has a recommended maximum daily intake of 6g (1 tsp) of salt, which is 2.4g sodium. On average in the UK we are eating 30% more than this maximum every day.
Sodium is not just found in ready meals, it's also added to breakfast cereals, bread, processed meat, crackers and cheese among other things. About three quarters of our sodium intake comes from packaged and restaurant food.
There are lots of more interesting looking salts about – rock salt, sea salt, black salt etc. But are these healthier? Many of these salts contain similar levels of sodium to table salt, but because they are minimally processed, they contain calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium etc. and provide a more balanced intake of minerals which are required for good health. These trace minerals are important for many metabolic functions in the body.
It is beneficial to try and reduce your sodium intake and make sure the salt you do use is of high quality. Reduce the amount of salt that you use gradually.
· Reduce intake of processed foods
· Check the labels on any food packaging
· Use less or no salt in vegetables when cooking
· Flavour your food liberally with spices, pepper and herbs and little if any good quality salt
· Don’t put a salt cellar on the table
Yes, you might notice your food has less flavour for a few days, but after a couple of weeks your taste buds will be so used to less salt that you won’t like salty food any more and your food will taste great without it.