Now that winter is well and truly here, it’s officially soup and slow cooker season!
Walking down the packaged soup aisle at the grocery store, there are A LOT of options available, but how good for you are these supposedly “healthy” soups?
Most processed and packaged foods contain an excessive amount of sodium, the mineral found in salt, to preserve food and add flavour. Although sodium is necessary in the body for blood pressure, and nerve and muscle function, too much can lead to health problems. These include hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
The current Suggested Dietary Target for adults for sodium is 2000 mg/day (or 5g salt), to assist in the prevention of chronic disease risk. Most Australians have a daily salt intake of twice this amount. Sodium is found naturally in some foods, but most is hidden in processed foods. The amount varies, so it is important to check nutritional labels and choose lower sodium foods or those naturally lower in sodium. Look for foods with less than 400mg sodium/100g, or 120mg/100g is best.
Sodium Intake Recommendations:
- Instead of buying packaged soup and sauces, make your own from scratch! It’s not difficult and the flavour and ingredient options are endless.
- Let your slow cooker do the hard work for you. Chop the ingredients, mix them all up and you’re done for the next 6-8 hours (plus your home will smell amazing while your meal is cooking!)
- Use herbs and spices to flavour foods naturally, rather than relying only on the salt shaker. Experiment with lemons, lime