I have never liked my food being too salty, so this is not a huge problem for me. However, I have friends who swear by their salt and heck the health concerns. I love my friends, I want to tell them that there are many simple ways to cut down their salt intake.
I was inspired by the publication by Singapore Heart Foundation called heartline. Here are some tips on how to reduce salt intake:
Tip #1: No salt shakes on the dinner table – remover that salt shaker or soy sauce bottle from the dining table. Not having it there means no easy access to it. When eating out, avoid taking the addition little dish of soy sauce for your fishball noodles.
Tip #2: Reduce intake of highly salted items – prepackaged/convenience foods, snack items like potato chips and nuts, preserved foods and salted/smoked meats like sausages, luncheon meants, bacon and smoked salmon are all very high in sodium content.
Oh my, I did not know that potato chips are high in salt content – I have to start cutting down now.
Tip #3: Less than more – it’s always better to have slight blander food than overly salted good. *Note: add in salt at the end of your cooking because some food (especially meat stew) may add natural juices and taste to the dish.
Tip #4: Go for the fresh option – Fresh foods usually have very low sodium content and juices from meats itself can also make dishes tasty (like I mentioned above). Choose vegetables and fresh meat over cured meat (e.g. ham & bacon) or salted/smoked meat or pickled vegetables.
Tip #5: Spices versus salt – instead of using regular table salt, you could use basil, bay leaves, curry, garlic, ginger, lemon, vinegar, mint, pepper, and rosemary to add natural flavours to your meal.
Tip #6: Shop smart – next time when you shop at the supermarket, choose those that says “no added salt” or “low sodium” on the packaging.
Tip #7: Less is best – cut down on condiments intake like tomato and chilli sauces.
Well, for me, there are many more like mayonnaise, tartar sauce, BBQ sauce etc. I am guilty of this again. Whenever I have my McDonald’s meal, I can have up to five condiments lay out nicely in front of me. Gosh, I really got to work on this!
Tip #8: Cut down slowly – if you are someone who is used to eating very tasty and salty food, make a change by slowly cut down, and your taste bud will slowly be accustomed to eating less salty food.
Tip #9: Anti-gravy/sauce – when ordering food at food centres, always ask for less or no gravy (e.g. curry and stew meat sauces) on your rice.
Tip #10: Low-sodium salt – try using low-sodium alternatives like low or no-sodium salt. These salt use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride.
Well, I think I have fairly much contradicted myself – I thought I am safe and healthy because I have never liked my food being too salty. However, as the list goes on, I realized I have been taking in a lot more salt in other aspects like potato chips, condiments etc. Time to CUT DOWN!