Our average intake of salt (sodium chloride) is 8 to 9 times more than what we really require and most of it comes from processed foods.
Reducing this would lower blood pressure, which should reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. A high-salt diet can also contribute to osteoporosis, stomach cancer and obesity, as well as exacerbating asthma symptoms.
This includes salami, corned beef, prosciutto, ham and dried sausages. All are laden with salt, which is used to draw out the liquid and preserve the meat.
Commercial ready-made prepacked meals and canned soups usually contain a]ot of salt. By preparing more food yourself, you will cut your consumption radically. Instead of salt, use herbs, spices, a drop of lemon juice, mustard or grated horseradish to give your meals more ‘flavour’.
Endurance athletes need higher levels of salt and far more to drink than ordinary people. Sports drinks deliver both-they are rich in salt, which not only provides the necessary sodium but also stokes continued thirst. For the rest of us, the extra salt provides no benefit at all.
You might not think that you’d find salt in your medications, but you could be wrong. Particular culprits in your medicine cabinet include soluble tablets, antacids, cough medicines, pain relievers and laxatives. If you find high salt levels, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
You can tell if a processed food is high in salt by reading the nutritional informationon the label. Look at the figure for salt or sodium per 100g.
– High is more than 600 mg sodium per 100g.
– Low is 120mg sodium or less per 100 g.
– If the amount of salt or sodium per 100g lies somewhere between these figures it contains a medium level of salt.
Use freshly ground black pepper instead of salt or look out for lemon pepper, a seasoning that adds woderful flavour to foods.
When buying canned foods such as kidney beans, chickpeas and sweet corn, look for varieties that contains no additional salt.
If you cannot find beans packed in water, rinsing them thoroughly before use will help remove some of the salt.
More than a third, 35%, of the salt we eat comes from cereal and cereal products (including bread). One way to reduce your intake is to choose breads with less than 300mg sodium per 100g. Another way is to pick breakfast cereals with no added salt, for example, rolled oats, wheat biscuits, puffed-wheat cereals and muesli with no added salt.
Capers, pickles and olives are packed with salt. The pickling and brining processes used to make such foods necessarily involves soaking them in a salt ー dense solution.
1. Mix 200ml olive oil, 85ml balsamic vinegar, 1 pinch of ground black pepper and 2 crushed garlic cloves in a bowl.
2. Blend until emulsified.
3. Store in refrigerator.
This yummy dressing keeps in the refrigerator for a month. Just remember to remove it about an hour before serving so it can liquefy.