In the last few decades, India has seen a sudden surge in diseases such as high blood pressure, kidney failures, and cardiac arrests. And one of the major reasons behind these diseases is our high intake of salt.
Studies show that an average Indian consumes double the amount of sodium that is usually recommended for a healthy lifestyle. According to WHO, we require only 5 grams or less sodium per day in our diet to have a healthy life while an average Indian intakes a total of 10 grams of sodium in their daily diet.
It is high time we start focusing on our sodium intake to save ourselves from any such diseases that we may face in the long run.
To help you figure out your salt intake, we have brought you some amazing and healthy tricks to help you reduce your salt intake.
Replace your high-salted meals with low-salted meals
If you carefully look at your diet plan you will notice that you can easily lower your salt intake by simply replacing some of your food items. Like replacing bread for your breakfast with low sodium-containing food items such as oatmeal or fruits, replacing processed ham or sausage, etc with chicken or fresh fish.
With a little research, you can easily find a lot of tastier and healthier substitutes for your high-salted meals, so just start taking small steps and try replacing at least one of your daily meals a day with a healthier substitute. This will help you in the long run as you will gradually become more conscious of your diet, and build a habit of eating low sodium content.
Start being more conscious while shopping
Instead of just randomly buying food products, start reading the food label present at the back of the products to know about various contents like sugar, fat, sodium, etc, present in your product.
Start comparing the same product from various brands to choose the healthiest one and have the lowest sodium content. It’s even better to go for products with no or reduced salt options like going for uncooked peanuts instead of roasted and salted peanuts.
Look out for healthy and low-salt options while eating out
Yes, it is hard to look out for salt content while eating out as in India most of the restaurants don’t list the amount of sodium content present in their dishes. But you can still reduce the salt intake by choosing dishes or seasoning that contains less sodium content, like choosing vegetable, chicken, or egg toppings instead of extra cheese and sauces on various beverages like a burger, pizza, or sandwiches.
If you are going for an Indian meal it is better to go for plain rice instead of fried or jeera rice as well as you can avoid any dressing or salt in your salads to reduce your salt intake.
Try using different seasonings instead of salt while cooking
There are a lot of different seasonings present in markets today especially in India, there are so many different options of spices available to choose from. So, instead of just going for salt try using various spices like pepper, turmeric, oregano, etc. to season your food.
Taste your food before adding salt to your meals
Most of the food items naturally have sodium content present in them. So instead of randomly putting salt in your meal you should first try tasting your food and enhancing its taste with the help of different seasonings. This can help you to avoid any extra amount of salt that goes into your meal and make your meals healthier.
Stay away from preserved food items
No matter whether it’s pickles or sauces, one of the major components usually used for the preservation of food items is sodium. Hence, these food items can usually be a source of a high amount of sodium intake. So, try avoiding these food items as much as possible.
You can even try cooking various sauces at home to control the amount of salt that goes into them and instead of preparing them in large batches you can just cook them in small portions for only two to three uses so that you can stop worrying about preserving them.
Try changing your salt preference
Most of us usually believe that we can’t change our taste preference. But actually, it’s the opposite; you can easily change your taste preference especially when it comes to salt by eating low-salted food for 6-8 weeks.
This may sound like a tough task especially when Indian food is all about its spices and taste but a little self-control can gradually turn into a healthy habit and save you from various health hazards caused by the high intake of sodium.
Replace your effervescent supplements with non-effervescent supplements-
Effervescent vitamin supplements or even painkillers can contain up to 1g of sodium so make sure you consult a doctor before taking any vitamin supplements. You may even ask your doctor to replace your effervescent supplements with non-effervescent supplements.
These tricks will not only help you to reduce your sodium intake but also make you more conscious of your diet, gradually leading you towards a healthier lifestyle.
We hope you found this article helpful and try out some of these tricks to reduce your sodium intake and to take a step towards a healthier lifestyle. It is always advised to get timely blood tests and heart checkups too to monitor your health.