‘Your blood pressure is too high, you need to cut down your salt!’
There’s a phrase no doubt someone you know (quite possibly your husband or parents) has heard from their doctor. Why? Because, too much salt can increase your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart attack and heart disease.
But how do we actually do this? Do we just not add it at the table or at the stove? Well, that will help, but it’s sadly not the only thing we need to do. We need to limit how much we’re consuming in the processed foods we buy. It may sound daunting and difficult, but it can in fact be rather simple!
It can be as easy as swapping certain foods for other foods – foods which have a lower salt content.
Let’s call it the great Salt Swap!
Below are some example of food swaps using commonly consumed foods. Remember salt is made up of sodium and chloride and it’s the sodium that can be harmful. Make these five easy and simple changes to your diet in a day and you could save up to nearly 1000 milligrams of sodium, equating to 2.5 grams of salt!
#salternative 1 – a lower salt product
½ cup cooked noodles = 75mg
#salternative: ½ cup cooked brown rice = 2mg
No need to rule noodles out altogether as they are part of a core food group – lets just limit them for a special wok occasion.
Don’t forget to compare the labels too!
Sodium saving of 73mg
40g of ham = 521mg
#salternative: 40g of chicken breast = 17mg
Sodium saving of 504mg
20g salt & vinegar chips = 194mg
#salternative: 20g unsalted popcorn = 0.2mg
Sodium saving of 194mg
30g cornflakes = 180mg
#salternative: ½ cup cooked oats = 5mg
Sodium saving of 175mg
32 tsp butter = 77mg
#salternative: 2 tsp avocado = 0.4mg
Sodium saving of 77mg
#salternative 2 – a reduced salt option of the same product
Salt swaps or #salternatives can literally be as easy as choosing lower salt options of the same food. Don’t want to give up your soy sauce? That’s ok! Just swap it for a reduced salt version!
A whole range of claims found on labels can help make our decision easier. Look for ‘low salt‘, ‘reduced salt‘ or ‘’without added salt‘ when comparing similar products.
30g salted peanuts = 103mg
salternative: 30g unsalted peanuts = 0.3mg
Sodium saving of 103mg
Standard soy sauce = 1376mg
salternative: Reduced salt soy sauce = 700mg
Sodium saving of 677mg
100ml chicken stock = 370mg
salternative: 100ml reduced salt chicken stock = 259mg
Sodium saving of 111mg
#salternative 3 – Add herbs and spices
Herbs and spices can add SO much flavour to our cooking and are an effective way to get the salt out of the kitchen. Next time you go to shake some salt on your meat, spice up your life and try garlic, rosemary or some chilli!