Surprisingly, most of the salt you eat doesn’t come from your salt-shaker – it’s already added to pre-cooked, processed or restaurant food before you sprinkle any extra at the table. With that in mind, and with so much focus on making people aware of the dangers of eating too much salt, we take a look at the top 3 saltiest foods and their healthier substitutes you can try instead.
1. Processed and cold deli meats
Just 6 thin slices of cold meat can contain half of your daily sodium limit.
Rather eat: Home-cooked chicken, avocado, rocket and fresh vegetables as healthy sandwich fillings. If you can’t resist cold meats, check the label and make sure they’re low-sodium.
2. Bread, rolls and bagels
Most breads are actually quite high in salt, and while a slice here and there won’t hurt you – if you eat sandwiches every day then this food group will make up a big portion of your daily diet and sodium intake.
Substitute: Some breads are lower-sodium than others, so check the nutritional label or ask the baker if you aren’t sure which breads are better.
It’s made up of a salty bread base, tomato sauce, cheese and toppings such as salami and olives – all of which are high in salt.
Substitute: If you’re going to have pizza, keep it for special occasions – and opt for low-fat vegetable toppings such as eggplant, fresh peppers, mushrooms and caramelised onions. Also look to see if there is a “slimmer’s” option – which means there’s no cheese added. And before you say “if it doesn’t have cheese it’s not pizza”, think again – it’s tasty and practically guilt-free!
The Snack Trap
When it comes to holidays and festive occasions, there always seems to be bowls of chips, nuts or other salty snacks around. If you’re going to be hosting lunches or dinners this season, then set the bar with these healthy snack alternatives:
- Vegetable sticks and healthy dips: Think carrots, celery and cucumber sticks with hummus, yoghurt and cucumber dips
- Red and yellow pepper strips, sliced baby marrows, baby corn & cherry tomatoes on a platter
- Dried fruit such as raisins, apples and apricots, and unsalted almonds and walnuts.