When it comes to salt, you can’t trust your taste buds. It can be easily masked in delicious baked goods and sweet treats by sugar in all its various forms. And, the more you eat it the less you can taste it. But did you know you can retrain your taste buds to be like sniffer dogs at a crime scene when it comes to salt?

Too much salt in your diet is dangerous. It can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure putting you at risk for stroke and heart and kidney disease. So we need to be vigilant in detecting where it’s hiding, limiting our intake, but also dampening our desire for it.

The more we eat it, the more we crave it. But fortunately, this also means the less we eat it the less we crave it. It can take a few weeks for your tastebuds to adapt to lower salt foods, but in a few short weeks you will enjoy the taste of fresher, healthier food with less salt.

You’ll be surprised by how quickly you will get sensitive to the taste of salt. And as a massive positive, you’ll also start to notice all the other amazing flavours in your food that were being over-run by salt.  When your taste buds are being assaulted by salt, it’s hard to appreciate the flavour in real, natural foods.

Here are some tips and tricks to help retrain your taste buds and start enjoying low salt without ever having to compromise on taste.

  • Try to slowly eliminate salty, processed foods and in time you won’t crave them. Stick to fresh foods.
  • Stop adding salt to your cooking! Swapping salt to herbs and spices is another great trick to adding flavour to your foods and ditching the salt. Pepper, mint and nutmeg are all natural flavors that will enhance your foods (the same way salt used to) while your taste buds are readjusting.
  • When dining out, ask for no-added salt to your foods. You’d be surprised at how much salt is added to meals at restaurants. Season with cracked pepper, ask for your favourite herb (fresh mint, shredded basil) as a tasty garnish and remember to drink plain water with your meal to avoid salt cravings.
  • You can find more easy tips for slashing the salt here.

When feeding your kids, remember that liking high salt foods is a learned taste preference. So if we don’t feed kid’s high salt foods, they won’t like them. Avoid ‘convenience foods’ like two minute noodles and pre made pizzas. You’d be shocked at the salt assault your little one’s taste buds are taking from these foods. Stick to home cooking using fresh ingredients.

Training your child’s taste buds from the beginning will help set them up for a low saltdiet for the rest of their lives and save them from the risks of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Remember, persistence is key when retraining your taste buds. So take the challenge, slash the salt in your diet and retrain your taste buds to experience new taste sensations. Your heart will be healthier and happier too!