Quit salting your food Maybe don’t pass, on second thinking. According to a recent study, salting your food at the table is linked to a shorter life expectancy and a higher risk of dying young. In the UK Biobank, more than 500,000 persons who answered a questionnaire regarding their salt use and how frequently they salted their meals between 2006 and 2010 were examined for the study. Prior to going over all of your favorite recipes again: Findings were reported in the European Heart Journal in July, and they only examined the amount of salt applied after the meals in question were cooked.
You Should Quit Salting Your Food
Following up with participants roughly nine years later, researchers discovered that the likelihood of an early death increased in direct proportion to the amount of salt consumed. According to the study, folks who consume excessive amounts of salt may be able to reduce their risk by increasing their intake of fruits and vegetables.
Although the “optimal limit” is 1,500 milligrams per day, the American Heart Association advises people not to exceed 2,300 mg of salt per day. According to the heart association, eating too much salt can increase blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, and renal disease.
Adults should keep their sodium intake to no more than one teaspoon of salt each day, according to the National Health Service of the UK. This study adds a new level of caution against adding more salt to your plate, according to lead study author Lu Qi, a professor of epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. Scientific research has long demonstrated the dangers of a diet high in salt.
Before the public acts, “more evidence, especially those from clinical trials is needed,” he declared. Our findings, however, are consistent with earlier research that has shown high sodium intakes are detrimentally related to a number of health outcomes, including hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
extending the effort to reduce
You can be consuming more sodium than you should even if you don’t salt your own food.
There is considerable evidence that reducing dietary sodium lowers blood pressure in people with established hypertension — and even in people who are not yet at risk, according to a 2020 meta-analysis of 133 clinically randomized trials on the topic.
one of the primary causes of the increased sodium intake in our diets? Salt is frequently used in manufactured foods for flavor, texture, color, and preservation. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the food industry adds sodium to items that consumers later buy at stores or restaurants, which accounts for more than 70% of the sodium that Americans consume. According to Dr. Stephen Juraschek, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who studies sodium and hypertension, “most of my patients do not add salt at the dinner table, but don’t realize that bread rolls, canned vegetables, and chicken breasts are among the worst culprits (of high sodium) in the US.”
Neither the 2020 meta-analysis nor the Biobank study involved Juraschek. You can counter that salt makes everything taste so nice. Carly Knowles, a registered dietitian who is also a private chef, a licensed doula, and the author of the cookbook “The Nutritionist’s Kitchen,” said there are methods for maintaining a lively palette and making appetizing foods with less salt.
Knowles suggests reviewing the ingredients on your items, using salt-free herb and spice mixes, cooking more frequently at home where you have more control over the salt shaker when preparing your dinner, and concentrating on eating minimally processed foods.
Eating at home
There are a few things you can do to assist limit your salt intake when cooking or eating at home, even if the majority of the salt we consume is concealed in the processed foods we purchase.
Our best advice:
- Prepare meals from scratch using fresh meat, seafood, and vegetables.
- Use salt-free fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables.
- During cooking, avoid using salt; instead, consider using other flavor’s.
- At the table, always taste your food before adding salt.
- Reduce your intake of salty sauces including soy sauce, ketchup, brown sauce, and salad dressings.
- Make your own low-salt stock, use half a stock cube, or choose lower-salt stocks.
- Keep in mind that table and cooking salt, as well as rock salt, have the same effects on the body.
- Hold on to it! At first, food may seem bland, but after a few weeks, your taste receptors will become accustomed to it, and you’ll notice that it has the same flavor but less salt!
- To give your taste receptors time to acclimate, try gradually cutting back on the salt you add over the course of a few weeks.
- Try utilizing low sodium substitutes like LoSalt if you find it difficult to adjust to less salt.
Advice for shopping
- Recognize the saltiest foods and try to replace them with less salty options. Check out our buying guide: Shopping Guide PDF Leaflet [PDF 606KB]:
foods high in salt include:
– processed meat and fish, such as smoked fish, ham, bacon, salami, and sausages.
– prepared meals, pizza, pastries, canned or packaged soups, and other convenience foods.
– salty foods, such as crisps, salted almonds, hamburgers, chips, and salted popcorn.
- Never forget to read the labels and select products with less salt.
- Switch to store brands instead of name ones because they typically contain less salt.
- In the grocery store, look for versions of your favorite meals with less salt and “no added salt,” such as canned vegetables, tinned fish in spring water, ketchup, and baked beans.