There is usually no information available so we don’t know how much salt is in the food on offer. Some larger chains have websites which give nutritional information for their meals and you can check these before eating out to see which the lower salt options are but this isn’t always possible or practical. Here is a quick guide to eating less salt out of the home.
- What to choose from the menu? – Dishes are likely to be high in salt if they contain ham, bacon, salami, smoked fish, cheeses or soy sauce, or if they contain the words ‘salt’ ‘salted’, ‘smoked’ or ‘cured’ in the name.
- Make it your choice – Don’t be afraid to ask the chef for little or no salt to be added to your meal. Most chefs will be willing to add less salt to food if you ask, after all they wouldn’t dream of adding sugar to your tea or coffee without asking you, so why should they add salt?
- Keep it simple –Asking for less salt to be added to food is easier with some dishes than others. Steaks, grilled fish and chicken can be prepared with less salt. Ask for no salt to be added by the chef and then give it a squeeze of lemon and a grinding of black pepper at the table and you will have a perfectly tasty dish.
- Beware of hidden salt in ‘healthy options’ – Salads often have many salty additions, such as: croutons, olives, cheese, dressing, marinated meat/vegetables, cured meat such as ham or bacon, smoked salmon etc. Avoid salads which are based on these salty ingredients and ask for the dressing to be served on the side.
- Know your marinades and sauces – Ask for your sauces and dressings to be served ‘on the side’ so that you can choose how much to use.
- Always taste your food before adding salt - Salt is often added in the kitchen and might taste perfect without any extra added.
- Get involved, ask for "Less Salt Please!"