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14 Tips for reducing table salt

Experts speak for themselves: Italians consume an average of 10-15 grams of salt per capita per day , an amount 2-3 times higher than the physiological needs of the body which, in reality, could be satisfied by the salt content naturally present in food.

How To Reduce Cooking Salt

Salt (sodium chloride) is a very important source of sodium, as 1 gram of common table salt contains about 0.4 grams. According to the World Health Organization, a healthy adult should not introduce more than 5 grams of salt per day, which is about one teaspoon of table salt .

Sodium is normally contained in our body and is necessary for the proper functioning of our cells. However, an inadequate intake of this element, especially if in excess, can create important imbalances with health risks ranging from arterial hypertension with increased risk of cardiovascular and stroke, to osteoporosis, kidney damage, water retention with increase in body weight even independently of the increase in adipose tissue. In light of this evidence, a reduction in salt consumption by the population of all ages is desirable.

Not just sodium chloride (table salt)

Sodium is also contained in many foods on the market in various forms; It is always advisable to read the labels , to avoid unpleasant surprises and to better manage the salt content in your diet.

They indicate the presence of added salt: sodium chloride, monosodium phosphate, sodium glutamate, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate.

  • Iodized salt: it is a normal salt, enriched with iodine; recommended for those with a deficiency of this mineral.
  • Whole salt: it is produced by evaporating sea water. In addition to sodium chloride, it also contains small amounts of other salts: magnesium, calcium, potassium, bromine, iodine.
  • Hyposodium salt: 30% of sodium chloride is replaced by potassium. It can be useful for those with high blood pressure and for those suffering from water retention. On the other hand, it is contraindicated for those suffering from chronic renal failure.
How To Reduce Table Salt

How to reduce salt intake?

  • Limit the use of salt, both at the table and in the kitchen, gradually reducing its consumption in order to re-educate the palate to less salty foods , in order to decrease sodium intake.
  • To flavor foods, use aromatic herbs and spices , precious allies in low-salt cuisine.
  • Avoid using sodium-rich condiments (nuts, broth extracts, soy sauce, ketchup, mustard …).
  • Avoid the consumption of “processed” foods, rich in salt such as chips and salty snacks in general.
  • Limit the consumption and portions of salami and sausages, rich in sodium and fat, to the maximum .
  • Also pay attention to the consumption of cheeses , limiting the portions and the frequency of consumption.
  • In the kitchen, also use lemon juice and vinegar, which act as enhancers of the natural flavor of foods and even allow you to halve the amount of salt added.
  • Avoid foods that, due to the methods of preparation and conservation used, are rich in salt, for example canned and preserved in brine, ready-made sauces such as mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce …
  • Avoid using stock cubes and stock extracts, which are rich in sodium glutamate, which tend to obscure the natural flavor of foods.
  • Put only oil on the table, preferably extra virgin olive oil or corn or grape seed or sunflower seeds, and vinegar : it will be easier not to add salt to the dishes served.
  • When shopping, buy low-salt foods, such as bread, crackers …
  • Do not add salt to baby food at least in the first year of life, to get them used to appreciating low-salty foods.
  • Maintain good hydration by drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day and, if necessary, checking the labels of mineral waters to choose those with a lower sodium content.
  • In case of moderate physical activity, it is good to remember that saline supplements are not necessary to compensate for the liquids lost through sweating: it is sufficient to drink plenty of water.

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