Published By: Jayati

Salty swaps: Easy ways to keep your salt in check!

Beware of sneaky salt in your diet!

We all love our salty treats—think burger, pizza, and chips. But did you know we're some of the world's biggest salt lovers? About 90% of us gobble up more than we should, and our craving just keeps growing. Salt's essential, sure, but too much can elevate your BP, upping the risk for heart disease and strokes. Sneaky thing is, it's hiding in everything—sandwiches, soups, even bread! To keep your ticker in check, load up on potassium, magnesium, and calcium-rich foods like leafy greens and dairy. Here are five simple ways to dial down the salt in your diet:

Choose fresh over salty processed foods 

To keep your sodium intake in check, try adding more fruits and veggies to your meals. Skip the ready-to-eat dinners and cut back on fast food, pizza, and canned soups. Fresh or frozen foods are better choices compared to canned or prepackaged stuff, which can sneak in extra sodium. Even bread, which seems innocent, can add up if you're munching on it often. Cooking at home gives you the reins on how much salt goes into your dishes, unlike when you eat out. It's all about making those small switches that add up to a healthier diet!

Go low-sodium 

Scour those Nutrition Facts Panels to catch sneaky sodium. Go for “low,” “reduced-sodium,” or “no-salt-added” options. Believe it or not, you can find low-salt versions of your favourite snacks, like chips and nuts. Try to keep your sodium intake under 2,300 milligrammes daily—that's about a teaspoon of table salt. Easy peasy!

Cut back on condiments

Hold back on the ketchup, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce—your taste buds won't revolt, promise! Even low-sodium soy and teriyaki sauces need a light touch. And as for those salty sidekicks like pickles, olives, and sauerkraut? Best to keep them as occasional treats. 

Boost flavour with herbs and spices 

Pump up the flavour with herbs, spices, lemon, lime, vinegar, or salt-free seasoning blends. Ditch the salt and salty seasonings like soy sauce and soup mixes. Start by cutting your salt use in half and working towards these tasty alternatives. Your heart will feel the relief, and you'll be at a lower risk of heart disease, especially heart failure and ischemic heart disease.

Sip smart 

Sodium isn't just a food fiend—it's hiding in drinks too! Watch out for those sneaky sports drinks and veggie juices packed with salt. Opt for water, herbal teas, or low-sodium sips to stay hydrated sans the sodium surprise!

Take it easy 

Craving salty foods is a common affair because, let's face it, they taste irresistible! But the key to managing those cravings lies in retraining your taste buds to appreciate flavours without excessive salt. Gradually reducing your salt intake allows your taste buds to adjust, becoming less tolerant of high salt levels over time. This adjustment period is crucial as it helps diminish your cravings for salty foods, promoting healthier eating habits in the long run. So, take it step by step and watch as your taste preferences shift towards enjoying foods with less added salt. 

Salt's got its perks, but too much is no seasoning superhero. Train those taste buds to savour food's natural flavours without drowning them in sodium. Ready to conquer the salt saga?