Easy Low-Salt Recipes For Seniors
August 8th, 2022
Do you know how much salt you consume every day? Do low-salt recipes factor into your weekly meal plan? If you’re eating too much salt, you may be putting your health at risk, so you may want to consider moving to a low-salt diet.
The NHS recommends that all adults over the age of 18 should be consuming no more than 6g of salt (equivalent to 1 teaspoon or 2.4g of sodium) each day. However, figures from Action on Salt show that adults in the UK are in fact consuming an average of 8.1g of salt per day.
Although salt consumption has decreased in the last decade, many people are still eating too much as part of their diet, which can significantly increase the risk of high blood pressure, and associated health problems. Indeed, research from the British Heart Foundation indicates that a high-salt diet could lead to a 23% increase in stroke risk, and a 14% higher chance of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
This suggests that with low salt intake, benefits could include a reduced risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
So, whether your doctor has advised you to eat less salt or you simply want to cut down on your consumption to reduce the risk to your health, read on for tips on how to reduce your salt intake, and find inspiration for easy low-salt recipes.
Store Cupboard Shopping List For Low-Salt Recipes
If you want to start making more low-salt recipes, there are some simple swaps you can make when grocery shopping to make sure you have the store cupboard ingredients you need for everything from healthy salads to low-sodium pasta recipes. Here are a few recommendations:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables – fresh (and frozen) fruit and veg contain very little or no salt at all, so they’re a great basis for homemade, healthy low-sodium recipes
- Herbs and spices – instead of relying on salt to season your food, opt for black pepper, herbs, or spices for even more flavour, without the potential health implications
- Unsalted nuts – swap your usual salted nuts for unsalted nuts, or ditch the nuts altogether and roast your own chickpeas for a healthier crunchy alternative
- Store cupboard staples – look for reduced-salt baked beans, stock cubes, soy sauce, and other condiments, and opt for canned tuna in spring water rather than brine
There are some items you might want to take off your shopping list too. Start making your own gravy or stock instead of relying on gravy granules or stock cubes, and cook pasta or curry sauces from scratch where possible – stock up on chopped tomatoes, as these are a great base for a homemade sauce.
Try to get into the habit of batch-cooking too, and freeze a few portions each time. This means you won’t need to rely on takeaways when you’re tired, busy, or simply don’t want to cook, as these can be extremely high in salt – instead, defrost a portion and enjoy a portion of a healthy low-salt meal.
3 Healthy Low-Sodium Recipe Ideas
Preparing your own meals and snacks is much healthier than relying on processed foods, as it means you can have full control over what’s going into everything that you eat. Here are three healthy, low-salt recipes to provide you with a little inspiration, and plenty of nutrition:
1. Salmon And Avocado Salad
A salmon and avocado salad makes a healthy, nutritious, and filling low-salt lunch or dinner that also contains good fats and omega-3. There’s plenty of flavour in these ingredients, so you don’t need to use salt for extra seasoning.
Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their heart health benefits, and they’re believed to be good for brain health too. Meanwhile, avocado is a source of good fats, as well as vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.
2. Stuffed Peppers
Typically, recipes for stuffed peppers feature beef or lamb mince, which is browned, then spooned into the peppers along with rice and vegetables, before they are topped with cheese and baked. Mince can contain a lot of salt, but you can enjoy a vegetarian, low-sodium alternative.
Stuff your peppers with rice, grated carrot, tomato puree (look for one with no or very little added salt), dried basil, and paprika, then bake in the oven. Serve with a green salad for a tasty, nutritious, low-salt meal.
3. Homemade Vegetable Crisps
Crisps are one of the saltiest snacks of all, so if you’re trying to cut down on your salt intake but are missing your savoury snack fix, homemade vegetable crisps could be a healthier, low-salt alternative. To make your own healthy crisps:
- Thinly slice root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, beetroot, and parsnips into thin circles
- Separate out the slices, and place on a lined baking tray
- You could enjoy the vegetable crisps without any flavour, or sprinkle them with herbs or paprika for extra taste
- Drizzle or spritz with a little olive oil, then place in the oven to bake at 200°C for 5-10 minutes
- Then, turn the oven off and leave the vegetable slices inside to dry out and crisp up to give you that crunchy texture
- After an hour or two, remove the crisps from the oven and enjoy
How To Choose Low-Salt Recipes When You’re Eating Out
It can be trickier to choose healthy low-sodium recipes when you’re eating out, but by checking menus carefully and thinking about the ingredients that are likely to be in each dish, you can make some healthier choices.
For example, if you’re going out for breakfast, you can still enjoy a full English, but perhaps go for a veggie version instead that won’t have salty bacon or sausage on the plate; fill up on grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, and scrambled or poached eggs.
If you’re going out for a pizza, choose your toppings carefully; opt for grilled vegetables on top rather than something like pepperoni, which can contain a lot of hidden salt. If you’re going out for a curry, opt for plain boiled rice rather than pilau, as this typically has added salt; try to choose tandoori or grilled meat dishes rather than curries with lots of sauce, as this is where added salt is likely to be hidden.
If you’re out at lunchtime and grabbing a quick sandwich, always check the ingredients list and nutritional information to assess the sodium content before you buy; see if you can find anywhere that serves salad instead and ask for the dressing on the side, or prepare in advance and take something homemade with you.
Will A Care Home Cater To My Dietary Needs?
It’s natural to worry about whether your individual tastes will be catered for when you move into a care home, but New Care homes have on-site restaurants serving a variety of nutritious menu options every day. Trained chefs work in our kitchens, catering for a range of dietary needs, including a low-salt diet.
Residents can even book a space to eat with their loved ones in our restaurants, which can be a lovely way to host family and friends without having to worry about cooking, or to celebrate a special occasion.