A guide to reducing salt intake

MENUS: HOW TO CUT DOWN SALT PAINLESSLY
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Taste food before you shake on salt.

Block up some holes in the salt cellar. Better still, do not add any salt, including most salt replacers (which have similar effects to sodium), to food.

Cook without salt. Use herbs, spices, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, chilli, wine or beer.

Limit intake of high-salt foods as much as possible - cut down on cured and smoked meats, sausages, savoury snacks and crisps, canned vegetables (frozen are better), canned and packet soups, ketchup and other sauces, pickles, baked beans (use low-salt), most fast foods and takeaways including Chinese.

Swap salted nuts and raisins for the plain variety.

Avoid stock cubes. Add celery, onion, carrot and bouquet garni instead.

Use low-salt margarines and spreads.

Bread, many breakfast cereals (especially cornflakes), hard cheese and some oily fish (kippers, smoked mackerel and canned fish, especially in brine) are high-salt foods, but they should not be avoided (unless on doctor's orders) as they provide important nutrients.

High-salt diet

Breakfast milligrams of salt

1 glass orange juice 15

2 rashers of bacon 1,344

1 large sausage 660

1 fried egg 96

2 slices wholemeal toast 324

Mid-morning snack

1 KitKat 110

Lunch 2 rounds corned-beef sandwiches with pickle 1,683

2 small packets crisps 642

1 can cola 26.4 Afternoon snack

3 chocolate biscuits 450

Early evening (pub)

2 pints beer 137 Salted peanuts 400 Tortilla chips 425 Dinner Chicken noodle soup 1,224

Shepherd's pie 540

Canned peas 125

Canned carrots 185

Vanilla ice-cream 33

During evening

3 chocolate biscuits 450

2 slices toast 324

Cheese 248

Plus daily instant coffee 8.2

1 pint milk 313.5

butter 450 Daily total: 10.27g, 9.88g from food

Low-salt diet

Breakfast milligrams of salt

1 glass orange juice 15 1 bowl muesli 28 1 poached egg 84 1 slice toast 162 Mid-morning snack

1 KitKat 110 Lunch 2 rounds chicken sandwiches 690.6 1 apple 1 1 banana 1 1 can cola 26.4 Afternoon 1 chocolate biscuit 150 Early evening (pub)

2 pints beer 137 Dinner Melon 12 Shepherd's pie 540 Frozen peas 1 Frozen carrots 1 Vanilla ice-cream 83 During evening

Fruit 4 2 slices toast 324 Jam 1.7 Plus daily coffee, milk and butter 778 (as in high salt diet)

Daily total: 3g, 2.99g from food

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