the white stuff

by | May 19, 2008 | nutrition

I thought I’d write a post about salt just to remind everyone that it really is something we should be looking out for in our diets.

The government recommends that we consume no more than 6g of salt per day. This is about a teaspoon. You may think that is quite a lot, and that you would never use that much salt in a day, but 75% of the salt we eat each day comes as an ingredient in manufactured food which you can’t actually see. The standard lunch option of a ham and cheese sandwich may contain around 3g, coupled with an evening meal of microwave lasagne which probably contains about the same, gets you to your daily 6g easily. And that’s ignoring the 0.5g in a slice of bread, or 0.5g in a bowl of cereal or the bag of crisps you have when you get home from work.

Salt is well known for causing high blood pressure, but it also negatively affects the workings of many different enzyme systems within our cells. Salt is another of those things that we just haven’t evolved to deal with, in the amounts we eat today. Pre-historic man would have had very few sources of salt in his diet, and our bodies are designed to hold onto as much salt as possible. Today, salt is in abundance, and we eat far too much of it which is why problems arise.

A good alternative to normal salt is something called ‘Herbamare Diet’. It is a potassium salt and contains very little sodium, and it is very healthy (although people with certain kidney heart problems should check with their doctors first).

Another thing that can is a good replacement for salt is lemon or lime juice. Sqeeze a lemon or a lime onto your food in place of salt or salty condiments. It’s especially good on chicken, fish or salads. Instead of using ready made cooking sauces, why not try making your own sauces using tinned tomatoes as a base, and then adding herbs and spices for flavour. This way you know exactly what’s going into your food, and you can adjust the flavours to your own taste. Schwartz make some excellent salt-free seasonings which are a convenient way to add instant flavour to your food.