A survey by Action on Salt has found that second to bread, bacon is one of the biggest contributors of salt to the UK diet, with many brands containing at least as much salt as seawater!
Too much salt in your diet causes your body to hold on to more water which puts pressure on your heart and arteries.
High blood pressure is the largest single known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease and stroke.
Whilst the occasional bacon sarnie won’t kill you, it could drive up your blood pressure if you make a regular habit of it. This weekend why not surprise your partner, friends or family members or treat yourself to one of the many new recipes out there that are bursting with flavour and kinder to your heart?
Here are a few tips from our Healthy Heart Team to help tickle your taste buds, get the creative juices flowing and stamp down on salt…
Make the swap
Swapping bacon for an oily fish like salmon, pilchards or mackerel is known to replace harmful saturated fats with healthier omega-3 fats. When it comes to salt, avoid ‘canned in brine’ and ‘smoked’ options. Go for grilled or baked fish and add your own choice of salt free pizzazz! Crushed black pepper, chopped tomatoes, lemon, herbs, even turmeric could work, it’s so easy to add flavour without the salt!
Get creative with veg
Why not try serving a poached egg on a portabello mushroom instead of bread? Crisp up your mushroom a little with a light spray of rapeseed oil. Season with a little paprika and black pepper and pop in the oven at 200℃ for 15-18 minutes. Wilted spinach, vine tomatoes, grilled peppers and chia seeds will add colour, texture and nourishment for your heart.
Revamp your shopping list
Set yourself a challenge to seek out low salt brands of your regular shopping items. Let’s start with sauces. Manufacturers don’t have to display a front of pack a traffic light but if you can spot one, go for green or amber on your ketchup or brown sauce. You could also look at the nutritional information on the back and make a note of which brand offers the least salt or sodium per 100g. When you’ve found the best choice for your heart, add it to your regular shopping list and repeat the challenge for a different product each time you shop.
If having a bacon butty has become a regular weekend treat for you, we’d love to hear about your experience of trying healthier options. Can this popular favourite be beaten on flavour and help put an end to heart disease?