Cut the Salt, Not the Taste
Most of us consume too much salt, and we don’t even realize it because we don’t pour on the salt ourselves. Much of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy. One of the best moves we can make for our health is to cut down on the salt. By eating low-sodium and no-salt-added foods, we can cut down on salt and eat our favorite foods. Yet, we get used to the taste of salt. If you have often eaten a food containing lots of salt, the same food with less salt may not not taste as good. What to do?
One step is to add new recipes to our diet that are low in salt. By starting with low-salt foods, you make only a gradual change. The ONIE Project offers many low-sodium recipes that are tasty. For low-sodium one-for-one certified recipes click here.
But what happens if you changed to a low-salt version of an old food? To find out, researchers at the University of Minnesota asked volunteers to adjust from high-salt tomato juice to a low-salt version. One group had an abrupt drop in the amount of salt in their tomato juice. They did not like the change at first, but after a week they got used to the taste and no longer disliked the tomato juice. A second group had a gradual drop in salt over fourteen weeks, and they never didn’t notice the difference in taste, continuing to like the tomato juice the same through the study. For those wanting to cut down and not highly sensitive to the taste of salt, reducing salt in one food at a time was successful.
The bottom line? Cutting down on salt does not have to be an all-or-nothing decision. You can take it one food at a time. Each lower salt option will add up, and soon you will be eating the recommended salt intake.
Dr. Dave Kerby and the ONIE Project
1. Bobowski N, Rendahl A, Vickers Z. A longitudinal comparison of two salt reduction strategies: Acceptability of a low sodium food depends on the consumer. Food Quality and Preference. 3// 2015;40, Part B(0):270-278. doi:10.1016/j.foodqual.2014.07.019