Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Salt? I think I’ll pass

    Ian Marber
    Ian Marber

    While chefs and cooks run wild, getting a little chubby and celebrating indulgence, many people have the notion that we nutrition folk sit in the corner rolling our eyes and sighing about poor food choices.

    I hope that I sit somewhere in the middle, as I am passionate about food, but use my experience and training to steer a comfortable course between indulgence and abstention, eating and dieting, feasting and fasting. And that is my aim for this column — to explore the truth behind popular nutrition myths and advise on day-to-day health issues without losing the joy of eating.

    Of course, we all know what we should be doing, more or less, but how to apply that knowledge isn’t always straightforward. Take salt for example — a diet with more than 6g of salt a day can raise the risk of heart disease or a stroke by as much as 13 per cent.

    Excess salt in the diet disrupts the fine balance between sodium and potassium in the blood (the salt used in food is 40 per cent sodium, 60 per cent chloride), which leads to excess fluid in the body and in turn raises blood pressure.

    There is a popular misconception that only poor quality, pre-prepared food (typified by takeaways and ready meals) contain high salt levels, and those of us who eat mostly home-cooked food are unlikely to get anywhere near 6g a day.

    The truth is that salt is found in the most unlikely of places, from breakfast cereals to sauces, and while eating home-cooked food is certainly an excellent way to reduce intake, you can still do more.

    There are some obvious steps — get salt-free stock cubes or powder, and when buying sauces or condiments, check the nutrition panel on the label and avoid those with more than 0.25g per 100g (or per ml).

    It may not a staple in the average larder but I recommend getting a tub of mango powder, available in most Asian markets, and adding a small pinch to food — either while it is cooking or after it is prepared — where you might previously have used salt. It adds a depth of flavour in much the same way without any effects on blood pressure.

    Remember that reducing salt at home will compensate for the unavoidable salt that you might be eating the rest of the day.

Food

Declare war on waste and use up the surplus in your fridge.

Victoria Prever

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Declare war on waste and use up the surplus in your fridge.
Food

The joy of baking

Victoria Prever

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The joy of baking
Blogs

Chill out with these soups

Victoria Prever

The Fresser

Friday, August 18, 2017

Chill out with these soups
Food

How Alon Shaya brought Israel to New Orleans

Anthea Gerrie

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Alon Shaya brought Israel to New Orleans
Blogs

GBBO big reveal

The Fresser

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

GBBO big reveal
Food

Hear me raw

Daniella Isaacs

Friday, August 18, 2017

Hear me raw
Food

Resolving to eat better

Victoria Prever

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Resolving to eat better
Blogs

Birthday cake - why you need to bother

The Fresser

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Birthday cake - why you need to bother
Food

Opinionated about dining

Sudi Piggott

Friday, August 11, 2017

Opinionated about dining