Salt – managing your salt intake
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recommends salt intake for adults is less than 1,600mg per day for adults, with consumption not exceeding 2,300mg per day.
Apart from the salt we add to cooking, most of the salt we consume is in processed foods. For example, processed meats, canned food, takeaway meals, sauces, and other condiments. So an easy way to reduce salt in the diet is to minimise processed food.
Here’s 5 tops tips from the Harvard Medical School on how to reduce salt in the diet.
- Use spices and other flavor enhancers. Add flavor to your favorite dishes with spices, dried and fresh herbs, roots (such as garlic and ginger), citrus, vinegars, and wine. Use spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, fresh basil, chili, and lemon juice, to add flavor and create excitement for the palate — and with less sodium.
- Go nuts for healthy fats in the kitchen. Using the right healthy fats from nuts and avocados, and good oils like olive and macadamia to add a rich flavor to foods, minus the salt.
- Sear, sauté, and roast. Searing or sautéing foods in a pan builds flavor. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of many vegetables and the taste of fish and chicken. If you do steam or microwave some dishes, perk them up with a finishing drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of citrus.
- Get your whole grains from sources other than bread. Even whole-grain bread, though a healthier choice than white, can contain considerable sodium. Bread contains quite a bit of salt. You can skip that extra salt when you look for whole grains outside of baking. For example, instead of toast with breakfast, cook up steel-cut oats, farro, quinoa or other intact whole grains with fresh or dried fruit.
- Know your seasons, and, even better, your local farmer. Shop for raw ingredients with maximum natural flavor, thereby avoiding the need to add as much (if any) sodium. Shop for peak-of-season produce from farmers’ markets and your local supermarket.