What can I do to reduce salt in my diet?
In recent years, we talk a lot about sugar. Become public enemy number 1, it does not stop doing considerable damage on the health of the Man. Unfortunately, sugar is not the only one that can ruin health. Salt, equally devious and dangerous, can alone do much more harm than is often thought. Today, I give you some tips for reducing salt in the daily diet.
Why should salt be reduced in the diet?
In the body, salt (sodium) participates in many metabolic reactions: contraction of muscle, nerve impulses, etc. However, excessive salt intake (as is usually the case) is not without consequences for the body.
Salt and cardiovascular diseases
Excess salt is one of the major risk factors for increasing blood pressure, or high blood pressure. By increasing the blood pressure in the vessels and arteries, excessive sodium concentration is a real danger to cardiovascular health. It significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular accidents.
Water retention is another phenomenon caused by excess salt in the body. Indeed, a high concentration of sodium will draw water into the cells to restore balance. As a result, tissues will retain water and swell.
Other pathologies related to excess salt
In excess, salt causes urinary leakage of calcium and leads to the weakening of bones. It increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Finally, salt is a risk factor for digestive cancers, including stomach cancer.
Excess salt is involved in many processes dangerous to health. That’s why reducing salt in the diet must be a priority for all of us.
20 foods high in salt (sodium)
To be able to reduce the salt in the diet, it is still necessary to know where to find it. In fact, excess sodium comes mainly from salt added to industrial foods. Here is a list of 20 common foods that are high in sodium.
- Miso paste
- Dehydrated broth
- Table salt
- Salted soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Bacon and dried beef
- Smoked salmon
- Anchovies and canned sardines
- Cheeses (Feta, Roquefort, Blue, etc.)
- Olives and capers
- Aperitif cookies
- Canned vegetables
- Readymade meals
- Charcuterie (raw ham, sausage, bacon, etc.)
- Waters rich in sodium
How to reduce salt in the daily diet?
After the theory, let’s go into the kitchen with some practical tips. Reducing salt in the diet is not so complex as it seems. All you have to do is change your habits and use some common sense. Here are the 8 best tips to eat less salty food everyday.
As I explained earlier, industrial dishes often have record levels of sodium. This one being used massively as additive to preserve and to raise the taste of the preparations. The best way to reduce salt in the diet is to cook good home-cooked meals using simple, raw products.
Reduce bread consumption
Bread has the ugly fault of being a relatively salty food. For your health, I recommend that you do not always get the bread out on the table during meals and not consume more than 30 grams per meal. In addition, avoid sandwiches (especially those made from cold cuts) that are real salt concentrates.
Use spices and herbs
It’s not just salt that tastes good! To learn how to do without salt, rely on spices, herbs and herbs to season your dishes. Do not hesitate to make sauces with fresh herbs or marinate your ingredients to raise the taste without the need to add salt.
Avoid dehydrated and canned dishes
Broths, soups and other dehydrated preparations are by far the richest in sodium. To reduce salt in the diet, start by making your homemade soups and opt for some sodium-free broths. Do not get in the habit of adding broth to add taste to your dishes but rely on spices and herbs instead.The same goes for canned foods that are soaked in salt.Try not to use it, if you have no choice rinse them before use.
Choose water low in sodium
Salt is not always where we expect it. In drinking water too, there is salt, even if cannot taste it! Depending on the source, the sodium content is higher or lower. To help you there, you have to, once again, read the labels. As an indication, water containing more than 200 mg of sodium per liter is considered to be high in salt. Some, on the other hand, have a sodium content of less than 20 mg / L and are therefore particularly recommended for people on a salt-free diet.
Limit accompaniment sauces
As salty as the dishes you cook, the sauces that you choose to sublimate them just as important! And to say that all the sauces are not equal. Mustard, soy sauce, cheese sauces or the majority of industrial sauces are particularly rich in salt. To reduce sodium in your diet, make your own sauces with spices, yogurt, herbs or lemon juice.
Beware of smoked products and meats
As their ultra-salty taste testifies, meats and smoked products are too salty. In addition to this, they contain nitrites that catalyze the carcinogenic effect of salt.Always prefer fresh salmon with smoked salmon, chicken breast with raw ham and avoid eating cold cuts too regularly. Also beware of derivatives that are not left in salt level: rillettes, fish roe, surimi, etc.
Change your eating habits
Finally, reducing salt in the diet is primarily a matter of habit. Some reflexes can, in fact, completely change the salt content of your diet. Do not bring the salt shaker on the table, take the trouble to taste before salting, etc. So many unstoppable habits to eat less salty! Also note that the taste for salt is maintained. By re-educating your taste buds to a less salty diet you will quickly and naturally taste this new, less salty diet.