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Knock, knock! If you are one of those who sprinkle salt on your food as if it’s the ultimate thing then you better watch out. Because eating too much salt or sodium can take away a few years from your life.
Without a doubt salt is THE tastemaker in food, but do you know how much sodium your body actually requires? According to the WHO, our body needs around five grams of sodium or salt per day. Anything higher than that can contribute to high blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
“You need to understand why we stress so much on reducing salt intake. The main source of sodium in our diet is table salt. Cutting it down is an easy approach that you can take for a healthy life. It keeps your blood pressure in check,” says Dr. Deepika Rani Vellore Shankar, dietician, Apollo Telehealth.
These eight tips that will help you reduce sodium intake and mellow its impact on your body
Do you know that most of the food you eat already has sodium in it. Now if you
add copious amounts of salt to it, then you’ll just be piling up sodium in your body. Thankfully, these tricks can help you reduce your salt consumption:
1. Don’t add salt while cooking the food.
2. Measure salt before adding it to food, instead of just eyeballing and sprinkling it. “An important aspect of controlling salt intake is knowing what can account to salt intake and how much you consume in a day”, Dr Shankar suggests.
3. Don’t place a salt shaker on the table and reduce the temptation.
4. Limit your consumption of salty snacks and foods, like pickles, papads, and chips.
5. Choose foods and products with a low-sodium content. Read nutritive value labels, compare, and then purchase foods which are low in sodium and salt.
6. Choose fresh, unprocessed or minimally-processed foods. Processed and packaged foods have high sodium content, since salt is often used for preservation.
7. Be cautious about the ingredients you use to prepare a dish. Condiments like baking soda, sauces, ketchup, and processed cheese also have salt and thus account for your sodium intake.
8. Use lemon, spices, and other condiments to enhance the flavour of your food. This way you won’t feel the need to add more salt in your food.
“Don’t trust your taste buds. Foods high in salt needn’t always taste salty. When these foods are mixed with other ingredients, that strong salty taste is reduced,” warns Dr Shankar.
It’s never too early to reduce your salt intake
Think you are way too young to cut out salt from your diet? Well, according to Dr Shankar: “It’s never early or late to start having low-salt foods or meals. Our taste buds sense that the taste of salt is acquired and alterable. So, it takes some time to get used to it. But once you have achieved this task, you can enjoy different flavours along with safeguarding health.”
So, limit your salt intake if you want a healthier and happier life ahead.