In line with the National Salt Awareness Week in the UK, a research group has singled out meals and restaurants across Britain that serve the equivalent of salt bombs in their dishes.
According to a study by Consensus Action on Salt & Health, some of the worst offenders are Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill mussels, cooked in a cider cream sauce and served with fries, as well as the meatballs in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian.
A diet high in salt intake has been blamed for everything from high blood pressure to stomach cancer, osteoporosis, kidney disease and heart disease. The maximum recommended salt intake is 6g a day, the equivalent of one teaspoon.
To reduce your salt intake, here are a few tips from Britain’s National Health Service.
What to keep in mind when you go grocery shopping:
- Check the nutritional label: High salt content is more than 1.5g of salt per 100g while low is 0.3g of salt or less per 100g. High-salt foods include anchovies, bacon, cheese, ham, prawns, salami and smoked meat and fish.
- What to buy: Get canned vegetables without added salt. Tomato-based sauces are often lower in salt than cheesy sauces or those containing olives, bacon or ham.
- Choose fruit or vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks for snacking. If you are going to have crisps or crackers, check the label and choose the ones lower in salt.
- Go easy on the condiments: soy sauce, mustard, pickles, mayonnaise and other table sauces, as these can all be high in salt.
Cook with less salt:
- Use black pepper as seasoning, instead of salt. Try it on pasta, scrambled eggs, pizza, fish and soups.
- Add fresh herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, chilli and lime in dishes.
- Make your own stock and gravy instead of using cubes or granules, or look out for reduced-salt products.
- Try baking or roasting vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, fennel, parsnips and squash to bring out their flavor. Make sauces using ripe flavorful tomatoes and garlic.