An often-unrealized fact is that more than 75% of sodium consumption comes from processed foods and eating out; not the saltshaker. Your body needs sodium to maintain critical fluid balances, transmit nerve impulses, and contract and relax your muscles; however, less than 500mg is required each day to perform these crucial functions. Too much sodium can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. But did you know it can also increase your risk of stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer is the third largest cancer killer and the fifth most common cancer in the world, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Experimental research has shown that salt damages the stomach lining and causes lesions, which, if left to develop, can become stomach cancer. This cancer has few symptoms and there is no efficient screening test, which makes stomach cancer prevention through a low salt diet and lifestyle especially important.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to cut down on your sodium or salt intake. Read these tips to improve your health and help lower your cancer risk.
Tips for Eating Less Salt:
Cooking at home gives you more control over how much salt is in your food. Try some new spices. Earthy and sweet spices like cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are great for roasted vegetables. Want a smoky, woodsy flavor? Add in a dash of smoked paprika – it also gives dishes a nice sprinkling of color. Hoping to give your dish a savory spin? Season with dried oregano, marjoram, coriander, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme or cumin. Add heat to any dish with spicy cayenne, red pepper flakes, chili powder or dry mustard.
Experiment with fresh herbs: dill, chives, cilantro, parsley, basil or mint. Use fresh garlic and onions over granulated versions to give a fresh taste to your meal and citrus fruits like lime and lemon to give a zip to your meal.
For a quick and easy fix to help you sustain and enjoy a low salt diet without unnecessary additional sodium see the “salternatives” below.