Updated 13 March 2013

10 tips to reduce your salt intake

An estimated 3.3 million South Africans suffer from high blood pressure. One of the main culprits is a diet high in salt.

An estimated 3.3 million South Africans suffer from high blood pressure. One of the main culprits is a diet high in salt.  High salt consumption leads to high blood pressure, which in turn may lead to heart disease and stroke.

Reduce your risk of developing heart disease or stroke by following these 10 handy tips to lower your salt intake, courtesy of Wash (World Action on Salt and Health):

  1. Read labels when shopping and choose low sodium or salt-free alternatives in pre-packaged foods
  2. Keep snacks of fresh fruit, dried fruit or unsalted nuts at home and in the office, and in children’s lunchboxes
  3. Limit takeaways and fast foods such as burgers, fried chicken and pizza to an occasional treat
  4. Ask for fries with no salt
  5. When ordering pizza, choose a vegetarian or chicken topping rather than pepperoni, bacon or extra cheese
  6. When dining out, ask for sauces and other condiments to be served on the side rather than on the meal
  7. Avoid ordering dishes that contain high salt ingredients such as Asian sauces, cured meats and cheeses
  8. Don't add salt to your food at the table when dining out or eating at home
  9. Stock up on low sodium or salt-free condiments, sauces and spreads.
  10. Replace salt in your cooking with herbs and spices

Quick fact: did you know that mushrooms are very low in sodium? They contain only 14mg of sodium per 100g. When one then considers the fact that a low-salt diet allows between 400 - 1000mg of sodium per day - the low sodium content of fresh mushrooms is even more impressive.

- (SA Mushroom Farmers' Association press release)


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