Tips to cut salt in your diet
Salt is the main source of sodium in our diet.High sodium is a risk factor for high blood pressure which predisposes an individual to heart problems.
Average Indian consumes around 10 gram of salt per day which is double the amount of salt recommended (5g/d).
Here are a few tips to cut salt intake in your daily diet.
Mend your salty habits
- Do not sprinkle salt on salad, cut fruits, cooked vegetables or curd. Enjoy their natural taste!
- While cooking, add less salt than what you are accustomed to.
- Gradually reduce the salt usage while cooking from lesser to least.
- Sodium is found in many condiments besides ordinary table salt including soy sauce, salad dressings, ketchup, pickles, and papads: Use these foods moderately in your daily diet.
- Baking soda, baking powder, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) also contains high sodium: Avoid using these in your daily cooking.
- Do not add salt in dough for chapati or rice.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Switch from salted namkeens and snacks to fresh fruits and vegetables to cut down on sodium.
- Eat potassium rich fruits and vegetables, they help to neutralize the effect of sodium in the body.
Stay away from hidden sources of sodium
- Avoid consumption of preserved and processed foods such as papads, pickles, sauces, ketchups, salted biscuits, chips, cheese and salted fish are high in sodium.
- Breads, instant soups, cold cuts and cured meats, cheese are high in sodium, so eat them occasionally.
Read Nutrition labels
- Compare labels and choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium (per serving).
- Know the facts:
- Salt/Sodium-Free: Product contains not more than 0.005g of sodium per 100 g for solids or 100 ml for liquids.
- Very Low Sodium: Product contains not more than 0.04 g of sodium per 100 g for solids or 100 ml for liquids.
- Low Sodium: Product contains not more than 0.12 g of sodium per 100 g for solids or 100 ml for liquids.
Be intelligent, while eating out
- If possible, when dining out, ask to have your food prepared with less salt.
- Watch out for foods described using the words pickled, brined, barbecued, cured, smoked or soy sauce. These tend to be high in sodium. Avoid them.
- Foods that are steamed, baked, grilled, poached or roasted may have less sodium.
- Control portion sizes when you cut calories, you usually cut the sodium too.
Keep yourself hydrated
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water everyday, it not only helps to flush out the toxins but also excess of sodium from the body.
Source : Eat Right India initiative of FSSAI
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