No Salt Shaker... a Heartbreaker?

No Salt Shaker... a Heartbreaker?

Posted by Geneviève Nadeau on May 25, 2012 | Food And Nutrition

Isn’t taste your first motivation to eat? Our course it is. More often than not, consumers rely on sodium (salt) to enhance the flavour of the food. Shards of fleur de sel in dark chocolate, a pinch of table salt on fresh tomatoes... Salt is sure to please our taste buds. However, like many other delights, salt should be consumed with moderation.

You might already know the consequences of a high-sodium diet, including hypertension, a risk factor for heart disease. There is good news, though. There are ways to reduce your sodium intake while keeping your tastbuds happy. Enjoy these few tips:

1.  Rely on the label

Memorize the following figures to have an accurate picture of the sodium content of various products on the market. First check the reference portion on the Nutrition Facts table. Then, look at the sodium content and remember these three ranges:

- 400 mg or more per serving: this product is high in sodium, be vigilant and avoid abuse!

- 200 to 400 mg per serving: this product contains a significant amount of sodium, choose it occasionally.
- 200 mg or less per serving: this product contains less sodium, make a special place for it in your grocery cart. For example, if you lack time to cook, Health Valley organic soups with lentils or black beans could be a wise choice (75 mg of sodium or less per serving).

2.  Be wary of certain products

You are busy and sometimes rely on deli products, canned foods or frozen dishes? Pay close attention to the nutrition labels of prepared foods. These products, along with pickles, sauces and potato chips, usually contain important amounts of sodium. Although we blame sodium for numerous adverse effects on our health, it is often used in the food industry to increase the shelf life of products.

3.  Reconcile « succulence » and « health »

Of the 3400 mg of sodium consumed by each Canadian every day, only 15% comes from addinga pich of salt to our food! The prepared foods, on the other hand, contribute for over 70% of our total sodium intake!

Knowing that we should limit our sodium intake to 1500 mg sodium per day, it is healthier to choose fresh foods (mixed vegetables, fresh meat, etc..) to cook ourselves, whenever we can. And if your taste buds can not do without seasoning, remember that the salt shake is not your only solutionr. Many other spices and herbs can enhance all your meals to perfection, without adding any amount of sodium to your diet:

- Ground cumin, curry and paprika are a good complement to Casbah Organic Whole Wheat Couscous;

- You can choose low sodium chicken broth, such as the Imagine brand, to prepare homemade soups. Just before serving, add a sprinkle with chopped fresh basil or dill;

- Dried oregano, a dash of lemon juice and a pinch of chilli powder will add "punch" to Casbah Organic Quinoa.

All foods should be tasty and delicious. Dare to experiment and add your own grain of salt!