Health

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Tips to cut down your salt intake and improve your diet

TOO much salt can cause raised blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

You don't have to add salt to your food to eat too much of it – around 75pc of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.

Use nutrition labels to help you cut down on salt:

* High salt content is more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium), while low is 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium).

* Compare nutrition labels on food packaging when buying everyday items. You can really cut your salt intake by checking the label and choosing the pizza, ketchup or breakfast cereal that's lower in salt. Try choosing one food a week to check and swap when you're food shopping.

* Cook with less salt.

* Go for reduced-salt, unsmoked back bacon. Cured meats and fish can be high in salt, so try to eat these less often.

* Buy tinned vegetables without added salt. Do the same with tinned pulses.

* Watch out for the salt content in ready-made pasta sauces. Tomato-based sauces are often lower in salt than cheesy sauces or those containing olives, bacon or ham.

* For healthier snacks, choose fruit or vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks. If you are going to have crisps or crackers, check the label and choose the ones lower in salt.

* Go easy on soy sauce, mustard, pickles, mayonnaise and other table sauces, as these can all be high in salt.

Irish Independent

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