Too much salt in your diet can cause your body to hold onto more water which puts pressure on your heart and arteries by increasing your blood volume. Why not start the day in a heart-healthy way? Here are a few tips below for doing just that:
Reduce Processed Meats
Try swapping processed meats like bacon, for healthy protein sources such as oily fish (salmon, pilchards, mackerel) or eggs. When it comes to salt, try to avoid ‘canned in brine’ and ‘smoked’ options and instead opt for grilled or baked fish and add your own choice of salt-free flavouring.
Crushed black pepper, chopped tomatoes, lemon, herbs, or even turmeric can all add extra flavour to your meal, without the added salt.
Swap out Breads
Moderately processed foods such as wholegrain bread can be eaten in moderation, but there are other options if your goal is to reduce your salt intake. Why not try serving a poached egg on a baked Portobello mushroom instead of bread, or cook up a naked veggie burger or burrito?
For added taste, crisp up your vegetables with a light spray of rapeseed oil, and add a little paprika and black pepper. Wilted spinach, vine tomatoes, grilled peppers and chia seeds will also add colour and flavour to your meal.
Maximise your Fruit and Vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are a great source of nutrients and contain little-to-no salt whilst ‘bulking up’ your meal. Smoothies are also a great way to get one of your ‘5-a-day’ and they can be really filling and yummy too. Be sure to stick to no more than 150ml per day to maintain healthy daily sugar levels as it can be easy to consume lots in one go when fruit is blended.
As an alternative breakfast why not try our Banana Breakfast Smoothie recipe or try adding a handful of fresh fruit to your morning porridge?
Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK