11 Ways To Eat Less Salt For a Healthy Life

Sodium chloride, or table salt, supplies the electrolyte sodium to your diet. This mineral is essential for maintaining fluid balance within your cells, for contracting your muscles and for transmitting nerve impulses. It also plays a critical role in helping your digestive system absorb nutrients. Although you need a significant intake of sodium each day – up to 1,500 milligrams, or the amount contained in 3 grams of salt – most Americans consume far more than this, and ingesting too much salt can lead to adverse side effects.

Effect on Health:

Excess levels of sodium/salt may put you at risk for:
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart Failure
  • Osteoperosis
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Kidney Disease
  • Kidney Stones
  • Enlarged Heart Muscle
  • Headaches

Effect On Appearance:

Excess levels of sodium may cause:
  • Increased Water Retention leading to
  • Puffiness
  • Bloating
  • Weight Gain

Ways To Reduce the Intake Of Salt:

Read Nutrition Labels Carefully:
Learn to read nutrition labels. In particular, look at the amount of sodium in what you eat because the ingredients list shows only whether there is salt in the food, but not how much is present.

Use Only When Needed:
Stop adding salt to your cooking unless it is necessary. Halve the amounts that recipes suggest and keep halving. Add seasonings in place of salt.

Avoid Cured meats:
Cured meats, like smoked bacon, and fish can be high in salt. Opt for reduced-salt, unsmoked back bacon and try to eat these foods less often.

Don't start.
If you know you cannot eat just one potato chip or other salty food, do not eat even the first one. Better yet, do not buy the bag of chips in the first place. 

Find Healthy Chips Alterneative:
Many people find crisps addictive – and it’s the salty taste as well as the satisfying crunch that makes you want to eat more. For a healthier alternative, chop up fresh vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks. If you can’t resist crisps, choose ones that are lower in salt.

Avoid Tinned Vegetables:
Vegetables are healthy but what’s been added to that tin or carton of fresh soup? Buy tinned vegetables and pulses without added salt. Make your own soups at home and you’ll know exactly what’s gone into them

Avoid Sauces As Much As Possible: 
Avoid dishes that come with a sauce, such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, black bean or garlic sauce and switch soup for a veggie spring roll, lettuce wrap or steamed dumplings.
Also Ready-made pasta sauces are often high in salt. Check the jar before you buy or make your own using garlic, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree.

Try Salt Alternative:
Many people add salt to food out of habit – but adding black pepper as a seasoning can taste just as good. Try it on scrambled egg, soups and fish.

Go Fresh:
Fresh herbs and spices can provide intense flavour to pasta dishes, vegetables and meat – without needing to add salt. Give the soy sauce a miss and use garlic, ginger, chilli and lime in stir fries instead.

Avoid Stock Cubes and :
Stock cubes and ready made gravy can be high in salt. Try switching to a reduced salt product or make your own stock.

Decide Yourself While Eating:
if you’re eating pizza, Opt for chicken or vegetables toppings instead of pepperoni or bacon. Pasta dishes in a tomato sauce with vegetables or chicken are better than those made with bacon, cheese or sausage.

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