Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride, a chemical compound that belongs to the larger type of ionic salts. Sodium chloride is essential both for animals and human lives. However, excessive salt in foods can cause various diseases. Luckily, these can be remedied by learning how to reduce salt in food and, in effect, stay away from serious medical complications.
Salt is needed in controlling the balance of fluids in the body. Salt helps in controlling the nerves too while it makes the muscles work. But an over-consumption of foods that contain high amounts of salt has chronic effects on the health including strokes, cardiovascular disease, stomach cancer, high blood pressure, edema, and left ventricular hypertrophy.
To avoid the above-mentioned health risks, there are applicable ways in reducing salt in food. Continue reading below:
Strain and rinse canned foods first. Canned and processed foods, like canned tuna, sardines, and squid must be shaken first before opening them in order to move the secreted sodium content. After opening, place the food into a strainer and rinse it in under slow-running water for a few seconds.
Generally, the liquid content of canned foods contains a high amount of sodium for purposes of food preservation. Thus, rinsing it first can eliminate a considerable amount of sodium present therein.
Soak processed foods with water before cooking. Sodium is good not only as a taste enhancer but for food preservation as well. Thus, most processed foods like ham, meat, and salted fish are loaded with sodium. To lower the sodium content in processed foods cured in salt, it is advisable to soak them first in water for a few minutes. Once soaked, the food can now be cooked and served with less sodium content.
Dilute salty liquids. Soups that are too salty can be diluted with water in order to reduce their sodium content. This is very common in restaurants wherein most of the foods served are packed with sodium. This is true since the majority of the stocked goods in restaurants are coated or mixed with salt for preservation purposes.
Mix high-sodium foods with low-sodium foods. Prepared foods like those in food chains and restaurants have high sodium contents that are harder to remove. To reduce the sodium content, just mix high-sodium foods with low-sodium foods.
Prepare your own food. Buy fresh foods over frozen, canned, and preserved products. In that way, you are certain that your foods do not contain excessive sodium chloride. When cooking your foods, just add a minimal amount of sodium.
Taste your food before adding salt. There are recipes that already contain seasonings like soy sauce to add flavor. Before adding salt to your food, taste it first to know whether the saltiness of the seasoning is enough or not.
Use salt made of evaporated seawater. This is commonly known as sea salt. Use sea salt in cooking because it tastes saltier. Meaning, if you already added seasoning to your recipe, you just have to add a small amount of sea salt. In many cases, a pinch of sea salt is more than enough to achieve the right taste.
Do not automatically add another pinch of salt after putting the first pinch. Allow the salt to properly melt in first and then taste the food. If the desired taste is not yet achieved, that’s the time to add another pinch of sea salt.
Moreover, learn that infants should not be given too much salt because their kidneys are not yet developed. Children over one but below ten years old need two to five grams of salt per day. Children over 11 years old need 6 grams of salt per day.
Remember, too much or too little salt content in the body can cause a number of medical repercussions. For instance, hypernatremia is caused by excessive sodium and free water deficiency in the body, while hyponatremia is due to a lower sodium concentration and excessive body water. To do away with hypernatremia, just follow carefully the ways on how to reduce salt in food and you’ll be just fine.