We should learn how to reduce salt , because we use too much of it: the latest figures from the Ministry of Health speak of an average of 9.5 grams per person , against the 5 recommended by the WHO , the maximum quantity not to be exceeded in order to avoid risks. because salt is one of the first enemies of health , a cause of hypertension and therefore of cardiovascular diseases. To remind us, the World Awareness Week for the reduction of food consumption of salt is underway until March 20 , promoted by the World Action on Salt, Sugar and Health(WASSH), an association with partners in 100 countries on different continents, which with this moment of awareness aims to encourage companies to do their part, but also to make us understand how important it is to eat better. This year’s theme is precisely Shake the habit , that is “change your habit”, and after all it is not difficult, because to eliminate salt from the diet, simple precautions are enough.
The Ministry of Health itself, in announcing this day, gives some common sense advice, for example avoid putting salt or other seasonings that contain salt on the table , such as soy sauce, ketchup or ready-made sauces for salads, and generally reduce the salt used for cooking. But in addition to these you can indulge yourself, because replacing salt in the kitchen can also be very tasty, and an opportunity to vary from the usual flavors . Here’s how, with 5 ideas to replace the salt, and not eat too much of it.
1. Reduce (or avoid) foods rich in salt
We consume too much salt not only because we add it to recipes, but because there are foods that are inherently high in salt. Packaged fries are the most classic of examples, but there can be large amounts of salt in foods that we probably would not have thought of starting with ready meals (for example sauces or frozen ones), sometimes even biscuits, or canned legumes , which however – and the ministry also points out – simply rinse with plenty of water to lose excess salt.
2. Use vinegar and lemon wisely
In our pantry there is already everything to try healthy alternatives to salt. The simplest examples are vinegar and lemon . Try it: dress salads or vegetables in general, without adding salt, but using their natural power to flavor. Rich in vitamin C, lemon alone gives a lot of flavor to lettuce for example and when used with minced ginger and / or with its own grated peel it gives an extra touch. As well as vinegar, especially apple vinegar, which can also give a different taste to cooked vegetables.
3. Take advantage of aromatic herbs
Spring is coming, and by now (almost) we all have the beautiful and fragrant herbs that give color to our dishes as well as to our balconies. For example? Rosemary, to be chopped up on baked meats and vegetables to give flavor. Or the bay leaf, which, however, must always be used in its entirety, otherwise it is bitter. And in addition to the classics, a mix of basil, parsley, marjoram, mint, to be made into small pieces, mixed with vinegar and lemon to season fresh seasonal dishes, and / or oil to marinate vegetables or fish, or to flavor meat.
4. Try the spices
Have you ever tried baked potatoes dressed with sweet paprika ? You will fall in love with it, and after the potatoes you will try other specialties such as carrots, fennel, zucchini. Another idea? Use turmeric to flavor the steamed vegetables. And, if you make chicken curry, wait before adding a handful of salt: taste just before turning off the heat, and you will realize that it is good even without it.
5. Use alternative salt
If you just can’t get enough of the idea of adding salt, there are low-sodium or sodium-free alternatives that are particularly useful. These include nutritional yeast, which is an inactive yeast used very often as a seasoning in vegetable cuisine. Rich in vitamin B and iron, it is excellent for both hot and cold dishes. Another idea is gomasio, prepared with whole sea salt (which contains less sodium).