Lick the Salt Habit

8167964Multiple benefits of less salt intake…

Let’s say you had bratwurst with a bit of sauerkraut and some french fries for lunch. Why not chase it down with a cantaloupe shake in order to restore the balance in your system? It may sound odd at first, but after eating that much salt the potassium from the cantaloupe would counterbalance the effects of sodium.

A study from Chicago’s Loyola University says that those who consume twice as much potassium as sodium could reduce their risk of suffering from cardiovascular problems by as much as 50 per cent. Doctors agree that decreasing salt intake is advisable to reduce the risk of elevated blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease.

Eating potassium-rich foods, such as green beets, plain yogurt, clams, soybeans or carrot juice may help your body to recover quicker from the daily salt shock. The US Department of Health and Human Services notes that sodium and potassium both impact blood pressure and a diet rich in potassium helps to counterbalance some of sodium’s harmful effects, but a simpler and most likely healthier solution is to consume the needed amount of potassium and use the following tips to eat less salt.

When you are choosing packaged foods, check the sodium (or natrium in Hungary) content on the Nutrition Facts label. Use the percent Daily Value (“% INBÉ” in Hungary) to help limit your sodium intake and be sure not to exceed a total of 100% per day. Also compare sodium content for similar foods and choose the one with less. When you are cooking at home, use herbs and spices to add flavour to your foods and when you’re eating out, ask the waiter to identify menu items made with low salt content.

An extra benefit: if you’re eating healthier, you will actually save money. The Parliament of Hungary recently passed legislation, which applies an extra tax to packaged salty and sugary snacks.

Check this link for more potassium rich foods.