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Low-salt living: Tips for eating out and long term change

Far too many people in the UK go over the maximum 6g of salt a day recommendation.

Even if you don’t shake salt onto your food, it can be hidden in process foods from meats to breakfast cereal.

Salt can also be a problem when eating out, from curry and pizza, to Chinese dishes and fast food with or without fries.

Our taste has got used to things being saltier than they need to be. For lower blood pressure and better heart health, it is possible to re-educate the taste buds to enjoy less salt.

10 tips to help lower salt when eating out:

  • Ask lots of questions to learn as much as you can about the preparation of each food; even a jacket potato may be rolled in salt before cooking. Ask about spices, rubs, marinades and finishing sauces, all of which can be loaded with salt.
  • Frequent locally-owned restaurants where most foods are cooked to order. It may be easier for such restaurants to accommodate requests for less salt.
  • Omit the sauce on your entree, or ask that it be served on the side. For taste without all the sodium, just dip your fork into the sauce, then use it to spear your food (this helps control calories and fat as well as salt).
  • Pass on casseroles and stick to basic foods that are grilled, baked or roasted.
  • Salsa and ketchup may be low in calories and fat but high in salt, so use them sparingly.
  • Taste your food before seasoning and use the salt shaker sparingly.
  • Take along your own low-salt spice mix to flavour your food.
  • Round out your meal with simply prepared fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in sodium. Ask for steamed vegetables with no sauce, and use a squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavour.
  • Go easy on the cheese, olives, deli meat and croutons in your salad, and ask for salad dressings on the side.
  • Order sorbet or fruit for dessert.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on November 06, 2017

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