Eating too much salt has various adverse effects on your health, as well as your waistband!
- Eating too much salt can have more impact on your blood pressure than any other lifestyle factor including obesity and too much alcohol.
- Reducing the amount of salt you eat can have as big an effect on blood pressure as some medications. “Salt absorbs water and so increases blood volume and pressure,” says cardiologist Dr Dhiraj Gupta.
- Decreasing your daily salt intake from 11g to the recommended 6g a day (about a teaspoon) could lower your blood pressure by 10 mmHg. This means it could make the difference between having high and normal blood pressure.
- Most of the salt you eat is present in everyday foods, such as bread or soup, so get into the habit of reading labels. Some only give sodium levels, but anything over 0,5g per 100g is a high level.
TIP: If only sodium levels are given, multiply by 2,5 to work out the amount of salt present.
- Only add salt at the end of cooking, before you serve as the taste becomes less prominent with cooking.
- Try using lemon juice, herbs, vinegar and spices to bring flavour to food instead. It takes the taste buds around 3-4 weeks to adapt and become more sensitive to lower levels of salt.
- Eating less salt can also benefit your waistband. If you put a stop to the fluid retention caused by excess salt, you may see a weight loss of up to 1,5kg.
- Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg but ideally 7-9 a day, as they contain potassium, which helps to control blood pressure.
- Also keep active. Aim to do 30 minutes of an activity that makes you out of breath 5 times a week.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.