The salt content of the same type of product can vary considerably between brands. So you need to check the label. You need to look at the product’s ingredients to check there is no added salt and at the nutrition label for its sodium content – use our Salt Ready Reckoner to help you read labels for recommended sodium content. You can also download the FoodSwitch app. It allows you to scan the barcode on a food product and it will tell you its nutritional information – including its salt content. It will also give you healthier alternatives.
Salt is a learned taste preference. The more you eat the more you crave.
On the flipside the less you eat the less you crave.
There are many simple ways to reduce the salt intake in your diet – but with more than 75% of
your salt intake coming from processed foods the most powerful way is at the supermarket!
Here are some shopping tips to help you slash the salt:
1. Read food labels when shopping
2. Buy fresh
Load your supermarket trolley with as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you can! They are naturally low in sodium and packed full of nutrients.
3. Buy salt-reduced or no added salt options
These will be lower in sodium content than regular versions of the same products. But you still need to read the label for sodium per serve as some products may still be naturally high in sodium without added salt, or can still be high in salt even with a reduction. For example, salt-reduced ham should have lower sodium than regular ham, but overall it may still contain more than 400mg per serve.
4. Limit highly processed products
Convenience foods like microwave meals, meal-bases like Asian stir-fry sauces, instant noodles, and canned soups should be avoided as they generally have a high sodium content – most over 400mg per serve, which is much higher than what is recommended.
5. Pick frozen over tinned
Some tinned vegetables may contain added salt in the water, which is called brine. So, if you can’t buy fresh vegetables, frozen is your next best bet – where no salt is used in the freezing process. If you do choose tinned chickpeas or lentils, make sure you drain and rinse them with water. This will remove a lot of the salt.
Here are some cooking tips to help you minimise the salt and maximise the flavour – you don’t have to compromise on taste!
1. Put away the salt shaker
Both at the stove and at the table! Not only are you adding extra salt to your diet you’re not going to appreciate the natural flavours of the food.
2. Make your own sauces, stocks and dressings where you can
Popular processed pasta sauces, salad dressings or gravy mixes contain a lot of salt. These can be easily made at home with fresh ingredients like ripe tomatoes or garlic or the natural juices of the meat. Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, and a little olive oil and balsamic can make tasty low-salt salad dressings.
3. Use black pepper or chilli to season
Try them on your steaks, pastas, eggs and soups to add a little flavour kick.
4. Add fresh herbs and spices
Use fresh herbs and spices to enhance the flavours of your dish. Garlic, ginger, chilli and lime add wonderful zesty flavours to stir-fries – so you can go easy on sodium-laden soy sauce! Fresh herbs and spices not only minimise the salt and maximise the flavour, they have amazing aromas too!
5. Roast and bake
Roasting or baking vegetables like pumpkins, capsicum, zucchinis, and carrots bring out the natural, almost sweet flavours of the vegetables – great for making your own salt-free soups and stocks!
Chicken stir fry
Tasty and fast chicken stir fry with only 106mg sodium per serve.Read more