While you can’t control how much salt is in packaged and pre-made foods (unless you avoid them altogether), you can control how much salt you add to your own foods. Think about this: What’s the number one reason you’re adding salt? To boost flavour! Which is silly, considering there are so many other healthier ways to do this, such as fresh, crisp vegetables, herbs and spices. In fact, adding herbs and spices to your foods (instead of salt) can reduce your daily sodium intake by roughly a quarter, according to research from the American Heart Association.
And oregano may be a one of the best herbs for helping to reduce salt intake. A study recently published in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension sought to find out if seasoning food can change the preference of salt. The researchers presented participants with French bread samples with high, moderate or low concentrations of salt. Participants with hypertension (high blood pressure) preferred bread with the highest concentration of salt, while participants with lower blood pressure preferred low-salt bread. After a few weeks the researchers added oregano to the bread, which resulted in both groups of participants preferring the less-salted bread.
How much salt do you consume? According to Health Canada, the average Canadian eats about 3,400 mg of sodium each day (that’s more than double the amount needed!).