You will find most of us reaching for a shaker on the table to sprinkle some salt over our meals. While you may think it’s just to add a wee bit of flavour to your food, it may not be cutting short your lifespan instead.
According to a new study published by the European Heart Journal, it has been found that people who added salt to their food have a risk of premature death by 28 percent as compared to people who do not use additional salt. In fact, women have a higher impact of salt on their health since men who were 50 years old and added salt to their food tend to shorten their lives by an average of 1.5 years. On the other hand, women the same age shortened their lives by around 2.28 years, if they added additional salt.
The study compared the diets of 500,000 people. Clearly, sodium intake is directly associated with the risk of mortality and healthy life expectancy. “The results on the cause-specific premature mortality indicate that the increased hazard of all-cause mortality associated with more frequent addition of salt to foods could be partly attributed to cardiovascular disease and cancer-specific mortality,” the study stated.
So how do you cut down on your salt intake?
Most of us tend to add copious amounts of salt to our diet without realizing that we are just piling up sodium in our bodies. However, there are several ways in which you can reduce your salt consumption. We list down some of them here:
1. Don’t add excess salt while you are cooking your food.
2. Make sure to always measure salt before adding it to food. Do just make an estimate and sprinkle it. It will also help you take into account how much you consume in a day.
3. Never place a salt shaker on the table on which you eat food as it will help in reducing the temptation.
4. Be it salty snacks or foods like pickles, papads, and chips, just limit their consumption.
5. Try to have foods with a low-sodium content. It will help you in controlling your salt intake. In fact, have a know-how of nutritive value labels so that you can compare, and then purchase foods.
6. Pick only fresh, unprocessed or minimally-processed foods because processed and packaged foods have high sodium content due to presence of preservatives.
Also, read: For happy and safe snacking, abide by the salt guideline of the WHO
7. Condiments like baking soda, sauces, ketchup, and processed cheese are high in salt, thereby increasing your sodium intake if you add them to your foods.
8. Skip salt and use lemon, spices, and other condiments to add to the flavour of your food. This way you will not need to add more salt in your food.
Last but not the least, it’s never too early to reduce your salt intake. Your taste buds will eventually get used to having low-salt foods or meals because it is acquired and alterable. More so, it would lead to a healthier and happier life ahead.