YMCA Healthy Living Magazine, powered by n4 food and health SPRING 2019 - Page 10
JUHI BHAMBHANEY, APD
Juhi is an Accredited Practising Dietitian working across three clinics in Sydney. She believes in
helping her clients improve their health through lifestyle changes rather than restrictive diets.
HOW TO SPOT
Dietitian Juhi Bhambhaney helps us understand labels and
make the best choices to reduce dietary sodium intake.
any people are aware of the
effect of salt on blood pressure
and make conscious efforts to
avoid cooking with salt or adding too
much at the table. These are great steps,
but hidden salt in processed and
packaged foods is where most of our
salt intake comes from. Salt is added
during processing because it’s cheap,
extends shelf life and acts as a natural
flavour enhancer. Since we have been
consuming processed foods with added
salt for so long now, our tastebuds have
acclimatised to foods high in salt.
Firstly, let’s get the terminology right.
Many people use the terms ‘salt’ and
technically, salt is made up of 40%
sodium and 60% chloride.
The Heart Foundation recommends that
adults eat less than 5g of salt (2000mg
of sodium) a day, to reduce the risk of
hypertension (high blood pressure) and
heart disease. For someone who suffers
from hypertension, it is recommended
that total salt intake be reduced to 4g
(1600mg sodium) per day.
Here, we outline five steps that will help
you reduce your salt intake:
1. Identify foods that commonly
contain added salt
The first step is to identify which of the
foods in our supermarket trolley (or on
the menu) are likely to contain high
amounts of added salt. Here are some
of the most common offenders, many of which may not taste
} } Processed meats (e.g. sausages, smallgoods, tinned meat
and fish, frozen/crumbed products and commercially
marinated meats / vegetarian alternatives).
} } Commercial stocks, soups, condiments (e.g. pickles) and
} } Many kinds of cheese, dips and spreads (butter, margarine,
Vegemite ® , peanut butter).
} } Ready-made meals (e.g. from food courts, frozen, tinned
and many restaurant and takeaway meals).
} } Chips (both the frozen and the crisps variety), salted nuts
and other savoury snacks.
} } Bread, pizza bases, crackers and some muffins/cakes and
breakfast cereals (yes, sweet foods can still be seriously
2. After those examples, it makes sense that we
want to identify foods that are naturally low in salt.
The following low salt foods will not break your
daily sodium budget:
} } All fresh fruits and vegetables and most frozen varieties.
} } Unprocessed meat, fish, chicken, eggs and tofu – preparing
these from scratch means that you’re in charge of how
much salt is added.
} } Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and fermented milk drinks.
} } Dried legumes (or no added salt tinned varieties), unsalted
nuts, seeds and trail mix.
} } Whole grains (e.g. rice, oats, barley, quinoa, corn), rice
noodles and pasta.
} } All fresh and dried herbs and spices such as rosemary,
parsley, oregano, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and
cayenne pepper (careful of commercial spice mixes that
can be high in added salt).
} } Cooking oils and fats like avocado and ‘no added salt’ nut
} } Coffee, tea and most beverages.
YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE SPRING 2019