6 simple swaps to reduce your salt intake


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Simple swaps to slash your sodium intake.

It is Salt Awareness Week! Do you know how much salt you are eating? Chances are, it is more than you think with new Australian data showing that Aussies are consuming 9.6 grams of salt per day, almost double the World Health Organisation’s maximum daily recommendation of 5 grams.  A high salt diet is linked to chronic health conditions so it is important to cut back on our daily salt intake. The good news is that once you know some of the worst offenders that contribute significant amounts of salt to our diet, it is also just as easy to swap them for lower salt options. 

Soy sauce for chilli sauce

With a single tablespoon of soy sauce, and similar Asian style cooking sauces containing a massive 1500mg of sodium or almost 4g of salt, if you love Asian style cuisine one of the best swaps you can make is to choose chilli sauce instead. Chilli sauce is delicious and it contains just 0.5g of salt. 

Regular wraps for Helga’s Wraps

Wraps are a popular food choice for adults and children alike but some wraps can contain as much as 3g of salt in single serve. A much better choice are Helga’s Traditional White wraps which contain less than 1g of salt per serve. A report by the University of Newcastle showed that swapping to Helga’s Traditional White Wraps, which contain 430mg sodium per 100g, reduce sodium intake by 40% compared with eating Mission Wraps Original which contain 790mg sodium per 100g. 

Ham for turkey breast

Processed meats are one of the worst offenders when it comes to bumping up Aussies’ salt intake, with a single slice of ham giving more than 1g of salt. If you enjoy meat on your sandwich or wrap, a lower salt option is to cook fresh chicken or turkey breast, which contain very little salt naturally. Or if you need to choose processed meat for convenience, look for the lower salt options available in some packaged varieties. 

2 minute noodles for hokkien noodles

A popular choice among teens and children alike, it is the little flavour sachet which gives 2-minute noodles the massive 5 plus grams of salt per packet! If noodles are your thing, look for flat rice noodles or hokkien options for stir fries and Asian meals and stick to plain crackers or popcorn rather than 2 minute noodles for snacks. 

Tinned soup for fresh soup

Tinned foods generally contain reasonably high amounts of added salt to help preserve the food but the good news is when it comes to soups that there is a growing number of tetra packs and fresh options from supermarkets that contain little to no added salt. Check ingredient lists and look for options that do not have salt listed to ensure you have found a lower salt soup. If you make your own soups, you can also find a growing range of salt free stocks in supermarkets. 

Smoked salmon for tinned salmon 

Smoked salmon is a rich source of omega 3 fats but it is also a very rich source of salt with a single serve containing close to 5g of salt. While tinned fish also contains salt, the amounts are much lower with a serve of tinned fish containing 1g of salt or even less for no added salt varieties.

Ready to try some healthy food swaps? Try my Thai salmon cakes and salad wraps recipe, using Helga’s Mixed Grain Wraps. 

Recipe: Thai salmon cakes and salad wraps

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Helga’s Mixed Grain Wraps

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

1 green chilli, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled

2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, roughly chopped

2 tbs shredded coconut

500g skinless pin boned fresh salmon, roughly chopped 

1 egg white 

1 tbs cornflour 

60g green beans, trimmed, thinly sliced 

1 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Olive oil spray

Sweet chilli sauce, lime wedges, to serve

Salad

1 carrot, cut into thin strips

2 Lebanese cucumber, cut into thin strips

2 cups shredded cabbage (red or green)

1 cup bean sprouts, trimmed

½ cup Thai basil or mint leaves

Method

1. Place chilli, garlic, ginger and coconut in a food processor, process until finely chopped. Add the salmon, pulse until finely chopped. Add the egg white and cornflour, pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the beans and coriander. Shape mixture into small cakes (about 2 tablespoons per cake) using wet hands. 

2. Preheat fan forced oven to 160°C. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray both sides of the salmon cakes with oil, cook in batches for 2 minutes on each side until golden, transfer to a baking tray. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and transfer to a tray.

3. Combine all the salad ingredients together. Place wraps onto a board. Top with salad and salmon cakes. Drizzle with a little sweet chilli sauce and a squeeze of lime. Roll the wrap to secure the filling. 

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