Sodium is an essential nutrient for a healthy body. It helps balance fluids and keeps muscles and nerves working. But only small amounts are needed as too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, strokes as well as a number of other health issues – not to mention it can make you feel bloated, very bloated. The average person today will eat generous amounts of salt without thinking twice and without any care in the world of its damaging side effects. Here’s how you can start a low-salt diet, feel better and say goodbye to that double chin forever!
Start Small, Cut The Saltiest First
Taste is the number one reason people have a hard time lowering their salt intake. So start small, and gradually decrease your sodium intake.
Track Your Sodium Intake
Tracking your salt intake will help you be more mindful of the sodium content in the food you regularly eat. You can either manually track your sodium or download Sodium Tracker from the App Store, which will do all the work for you.
Set A Sodium Budget
Creating a sodium budget can help you figure out how to spread out your salt intake and easy areas where you can be more mindful. This will also make the food you cook at home much healthier, and who doesn’t want that?
Be An ‘On The Side’ Person
Condiments and sauces are usually packed with sodium, and if you’re eating out they’ll often put it on your food. To avoid the saltiness, ask for your sauces and condiments on the side. You’ll be able to control how much you’re eating.
Try Low-Sodium Condiments
It would be ideal if you decide to completely chuck out the salty salads, ketchup, BBQ sauce etc. Replace these with other options, which are naturally lower in sodium such as mustard, flavoured oils, and citrus juices.
Toss Out Pickles
Pickles taste amazing, because, yes, you guessed it – they’re packed with salt. But onions, cucumbers and bell peppers can add flavour and crunch to your food without the added sodium.
Cut Back On The Take-Out
Most restaurants or even packaged food can be packed with sodium to increase the flavour and to extend shelf life. Instead, cooking at home allows you to control the amount of sodium in your food.
Buy Unsalted Butter
Butter is the one ingredient that is usually added to almost any homemade dish. So keep control of the salt in your meals by buying unsalted butter.
Become A Label Reader
Sodium can be in foods you wouldn’t even expect, so just to be safe, always read the labels. Some red flags to look out for are: brined, cured, smoked, pickled, barbequed and teriyaki.
Buy Unsalted Nuts
Though salted nuts are delicious and a healthy snack – they are drowning in sodium. Instead, buy unsalted nuts and make your own seasoning, you’ll actually reduce the overall sodium content.
Make Your Own Bread
Salt is needed for bread to add strength to the dough and packaged bread can have more than 100mg of sodium per slice. That’s why it’s easier to cook your own bread or roti at home, so you can control how much salt goes into making it.
Use Bigger Salt Crystals
Sea salt may sound healthier, but it actually has the same amount of sodium (by weight) as regular table salt. The advantage is that they have larger crystal sizes, which have less sodium by volume. The benefit? You’ll probably end up using less.
Ditch The Rotisserie Chicken
There is no denying rotisserie chicken is delicious, but it’s also injected with sodium to keep it tasty. You’re better off taking the time to grill your own chicken and adding your own flavour on top.
Have A Spoonful Of Peanut Butter
When you’re craving something salty, have a spoonful of natural peanut butter. This can help satisfy your cravings without sacrificing your new low-sodium lifestyle.