Hold the salt

Salt shaker

The white stuff could be sabotaging your health without you even knowing it, reports Victoria Taylor

We do need some salt in our diets, but we’re eating an average of 8.6g a day rather than the 6g limit recommended for adults. The reason we need to restrict the amount we eat is because of the sodium content.

Eating lots of sodium is linked to high blood pressure, which in turn is a risk factor for heart disease. Replacing salt with a salt substitute will reduce the amount of sodium you add but won’t change your fondness for a salty taste. By banishing the salt shaker from your table completely you’ll be helping to protect your heart.

But more of a problem is the salt that we don’t add ourselves: a staggering 75 per cent of the salt that we eat is added before it even goes into our shopping baskets. This means that as well as having trouble controlling the amount we eat, we develop a taste for salt and this affects our expectations of how particular foods should taste. If the salt is suddenly cut out or even cut down, then food can seem bland, so we just need to re-tune our taste buds to enjoy a less salty flavour.

Watch a step-by-step cooking video of our low-salt recipe spring lamb and apricots with couscous.

Read our seven salt-slashing tactics

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