18 August 2007

Simple steps in cutting down salt

People having High Blood Pressure, Congestive Heart disease or Kidney disease are usually advised to cut down salt in the diet. They are rather confused what to eat and what not. Some of the sodium(commonly called table salt) in the diet occurs naturally in foods. The rest comes from salt added to foods when cooking or processing.Since taste for salt is an acquired habit, it should be possible to cut down its intake gradually.

Here are some rules to keep the sodium intake within the recommended level:

  • Cut down on convenience foods- baked foods, cakes, biscuits, pastries, cheese, salted butter,canned foods, soup cubes are high in sodium even though they do not taste salty.
  • Avoid foods preserved in salt such as salt fish, pickles etc.
  • Limit the salt used in cooking and do not add salt at the table.
  • Use herbs and spices to enhance the flavour of the foods in place of salt.

For example-

A dash of lime on vegetables and lentils

Garlic, onions, vinegar

Nutmeg. bayleaf, dry chillies, mustard seeds, pepper, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon

The amount of salt you can use will depend on the specific needs and may range from 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per day. Consumption of a single olive (fruit) in a day fulfills the required amount of salt for any normal adult. Rest of the food whatever he takes can be salt less since the required amount is met by eating olive.

Salt Substitites are available in the market just like sugar substitutes. Here i would like to put a word of caution before using it. Please read the labels before purchasing since some of the salt substitutes contain Pottassium salts which are contraindicated for patients with Kidney problems. Before using these substitutes it is always better to consult your Physician or dietician and ask their advice.

No comments: