Even if salt is essential for the proper functioning of the body, it should not be abused because can be harmful to health. Indeed, in the long run, salt will be increase blood pressure, harden the arteries, damage the cardiovascular system or promote water retention. “A low-sodium diet can help control blood volume and blood pressure,” says Anna Taylor, a dietitian at the Independence Family Health Center in the US, in an article for the Cleveland Clinic.
To avoid salt deficiency by limiting the risk of heart disease, the World Health Organization recommends consuming less than 5 grams of salt per day. This is equivalent to one teaspoon per day. But “remember that processed foods also contain a lot of sodium,” recalls the dietitian. “Salt is just the tip of the iceberg. The more processed foods there are, the more likely they are to be high in sodium. Therefore, favor home-made cuisine with fresh ingredients. ”
Indeed, it is important to remember this salt is found naturally in our daily diet. “The French tend to eat a lot of salt. They forget that it is found in some daily foods and that it is added to the table salt that we add to our dishes “, warned Medisite Alexandra Murcier, dietitian. “If we consume industrial and already prepared products, the dose of salt can still be increased and exceed 10 g per day. ” But how can you manage to eat less salt?
Diet: how to adopt a low sodium diet?
1- Bet on fresh and frozen foods
To protect your heart while consuming the required amount of salt, it is important to choose these foods wisely. “Use fresh ingredients and / or foods without added salt whenever possible,” recommends Anna Taylor. “Fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish are examples of low-sodium foods. ”
Except this, Frozen fruits and vegetables are a good alternative. “Unless there is an added sauce or flavor, frozen vegetables rarely contain added sodium, which makes them an option as healthy as fresh vegetables“, Explains the specialist. “They are too an economic choiceas they do not deteriorate as quickly as fresh produce. ”
2- Stop prepared foods and processed foods
Forget canned soups, prepared foods, instant cereals or sauce mixes, they all contain a lot of salt. “If you have to choose frozen foods, select those with no more than 600 mg sodium“, Suggests Anna Taylor. “So care must be taken to limit the consumption of these foods.” Otherwise, cartons, bread, cheese, mustard, chips or cakes are also foods that should be limited if you want to reduce the amount of salt.
3- Bet on aromatic herbs
Used to improve the taste of food, reducing salt doses can be tricky for some. So if you are afraid of lack of taste, dietitian advises add fresh or aromatic herbs. “Put leeks, onions, celery, carrots, ginger, garlic, lemon or even peppercorns in your dishes.”
4- Note the amounts of salt consumed
To control his consumption, Anna Taylor advises that Record the amount of salt you eat per day. “You can write it in a notebook or use a meal tracking app to make it easier,” she says.
For example, the dietitian provides a low-salt menu at the Cleveland Clinic.
Meal: a typical low-sodium menu
“For a diet that consumes 2000 mg of sodium per day, a sample menu may include 500 mg for breakfast, 250 mg for meals twice a day, 500 mg for lunch and 500 mg for dinner,” says Anna Taylor.
1- For breakfastrecommends dietology eat fresh fruit, a slice of wholemeal bread and a vegetable omelette (mushrooms, peppers and onions).
2- No lunch Anna Taylor composes a plate of salmon accompanied by fresh steamed vegetables and D ‘a salad with a homemade vinegrette, always with a little salt. For dessert, she recommends eat berries.
3- DINNER The type suggested by Anna Taylor is made up ofgrilled chicken, boiled potatoes and fresh vegetables. As with lunch, this can be served with a green salad and a little sodium sauce. “Finish with melon“, she writes.
4- If you want to eat a snack, fresh fruits and unsalted nuts recommended by the expert.
“It takes about three to six weeks for your taste buds to begin to adjust and stop craving salt“, Says the expert. “Let your body adapt to your new food choices. “Instead of focusing on all the foods you should avoid, focus on the healthy foods you should eat.”