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The role of salt in the mediterranean diet

  Salt (scientifically known as «sodium chloride») has an important role in human nutrition. It is composed of Sodium and Chlorine and is one of the most important electrolytes of the human body, since it helps to regulate the fluid balance in our body. However, it is also the “Achilles heel” for our blood pressure.

one of the most important electrolytes of the human body

How much salt do we actually need?

Based on the recommendations of various scientific organizations and associations, the daily consumption of Sodium should not exceed 2.5 to 3 grams per day (about 1 teaspoon of salt), quantity that needs to be reduced in half for people with high blood pressure. However, due to the abundance of salt in our physical environment, this results to its overconsumption by an average person.

What can we do to reduce our salt intake and at the same time follow the Mediterranean diet?

Due to the fact that in recent years we have changed significantly our eating habits, it is understandable that it is not easy to completely remove salt from our diet. Moreover, we cannot exclude bread from our daily lives, since it is the basis of the Mediterranean diet. Nevertheless, we can follow some simple tips:

  1. Reduce the consumption of salty foods, like pickles.
  2. Replace feta cheese with other unsalted Greek cheeses, such as anthotyros, unsalted mizithra and Domokos Katiki cheese.
  3. Prefer eating unsalted nuts.
  4. Eat more fresh foods, since salt is used as a preservative in many processed/canned products.
  5. Replace salt with herbs and spices when cooking (e.g. lemon, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, onion, paprika, thyme, dill, parsley, cumin, etc.).