Times of Oman
Nov 30, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 03:23 AM GMT
Spice up without salt
December 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Variety might be the spice of life - but when was the last time you sprinkled some variety on your food? Unfortunately, for your blood pressure, salt seems to be the true spice of life. Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is an important mineral that is 40 per cent sodium and 60 per cent chloride. The recommended allowance is 2,400mg but many people consume very well above the recommended intake on a daily basis. Fortunately, you can take simple steps to cut back on salt, lower your blood pressure and still enjoy a delicious meal.

Skimp on processed food

Some people are more sensitive to salt than others and for these people, reducing salt intake drastically lowers blood pressure. But restricting salt helps everyone lower blood pressure, that's why it is a good idea to limit your sodium intake to 2,400mg or about one teaspoon of salt, a day. Don't heap all the blame on your salt shaker. Processed foods such as frozen dinners, restaurant meals, and canned foods contribute the most salt in your diet. If you cut down on those foods and limit the salt you use while cooking and at the table, you will be on your way to lower blood pressure. Won't your food taste bland without salt? No if you make some smart and delicious substitutions. Here are some healthy alternatives to salt:
Grab some garlic: The ancient Chinese used this fragrant bulb to fight high blood pressure and studies have shown that this spice lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Garlic adds flavour without contributing to high blood pressure so garlic and onions can be used as flavourful alternatives to salt in cooking.

Squeeze a lemon: Garlic and onions are only the beginning. Lemon, lime, and many herbs and spices give your food amazing flavour without the danger that comes with salt.

Experiment with new flavours. Your heart and taste buds will thank you. After all, a little variety never hurt anyone.

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