Salt, an essential component of our daily meals and beverages, adds flavour to our food. However, excessive consumption of salt can have detrimental effects on our health, particularly heart health, blood pressure, and kidney function. It is important to be mindful of our salt intake and strive to maintain a balanced approach to salt consumption.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), individuals should aim to consume less than 2,300 mg of salt per day. Consuming excessive amounts of salt has been linked to hypertension, heart disease, kidney failure, and various other health problems. While our bodies require sodium found naturally in foods, it is crucial to monitor and manage the additional salt we consume through seasoning and packaged products.
Adopting a few practical steps can help in reducing sodium intake and promoting a healthier lifestyle:
Embrace fresh fruits and vegetables: Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. These natural foods are low in sodium and rich in potassium, which aids in reducing blood pressure and maintaining overall fitness.
Opt for flavorful alternatives: Explore alternative seasonings such as herbs, spices, and fresh lemon to enhance the taste of your meals. These sodium-free options provide a healthier alternative to salt and can gradually adjust your taste preferences.
Prioritise home-cooked Meals: Prepare meals at home whenever possible, as this allows you to control the amount of salt used in your cooking. Homemade food not only grants you greater control over your salt intake but also ensures freshness and nutritional value.
Practice portion control: Avoid overeating and listen to your body’s signals of satisfaction. Consuming excess food often leads to increased salt intake, which can be detrimental to your health. Be mindful of portion sizes and strive for balanced meals.
Introduce salt-free days: Consider incorporating salt-free days into your weekly routine. On these designated days, aim to avoid salt in your meals. Be cautious of hidden sources of sodium in processed snacks, restaurant meals, and packaged foods, as they tend to contain high levels of salt.
For individuals with high blood pressure or specific health concerns, it is advisable to track and limit salt intake in consultation with healthcare professionals. By understanding the impact of salt consumption and adopting healthier practices, we can take proactive steps towards improving our well-being.