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Shake away that extra salt

Eating bland food is not that bad after all, as sodium-laden diets can lead to a host of health problems. But why is cutting back on salt so difficult? A study explores the allure of salty food and sure-fire ways to shake the habit.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 07, 2011 00:58 IST
Relaxnews
Hindustan Times

Eating bland food is not that bad after all, as sodium-laden diets can lead to a host of health problems. But why is cutting back on salt so difficult? America’s National Public Radio (NPR) explores the allure of salty food and sure-fire ways to shake the habit.



Salt

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes, yet most people are consuming more than three times the daily minimum requirement of 1,500 mg of sodium a day. Chicago-based chemist and food scientist Kantha Shelke told NPR that one guaranteed method to reduce sodium is to avoid processed foods, since food companies rely heavily on salt for not only flavour but also its ability to prevent spoilage. Or for an even more disciplined approach, try eliminating sodium from your diet completely for three weeks, then gradually adding it back in.



The goal is to “retrain” your palate to be more sensitive to salty foods, noted Shelke. To cut back on salt intake, the Mayo Clinic advises eating fresh fruits and vegetables and using fresh herbs to flavour meals. When dining out, specify that your dish be prepared without salt. Read the label and find out how much


sodium a product contains before purchasing it.