How can we reduce our salt intake?

[16 June 2011 - 18h07] [updated the 22 December 2013 à 20h46]

Salt is an excellent flavour enhancer. However, if we eat too much salt it acts like a time bomb in our bodies. Arterial hypertension (high blood pressure), myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cerebrovascular accident (stroke) – are all genuine risks associated with over-consumption of salt. So, try to reduce your salt intake by following a few simple tips:

– Cook your own food! This is because excessive amounts of salt do not come from the salt we add ourselves. In 80% of cases, the salt we eat comes from the ready meals that we buy. Furthermore, salt is a “cunning” seasoning because it stimulates our appetite. You’ve probably experienced this yourself when eating a bag of crisps or peanuts…;

– Always taste the food on your plate before adding salt. Using salt at the table is often something people do automatically without even checking first how the food tastes. Take pasta for example. You fancy a plate of spaghetti bolognaise? If you use a manufactured sauce you should be aware that it is already salted. So there is no point in adding salt to the water in which you cook the pasta or to the minced meat;

– Take the time to read food labels carefully. They can be deceptive. Often the salt content is expressed in ‘sodium per 100g’. To calculate the actual salt content you need to multiply this figure by 3! So don’t fall into this trap. And that’s true too of carbonated waters;

– Finally, don’t forget that products such as cheeses and cold meats “naturally” contain salt. So eat them in moderation only.

This post is also available in French

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