Can you become healthier this new year simply by cutting out one thing from your diet? We posed the question to six leading nutritionists and received a range of interesting responses. Some of their choices are no brainers, while others are more surprising, and some highlight the importance of eliminating negative thoughts over foods. Intrigued? For some simple ways to eat, drink and think like a nutritionist in 2018, here's what they suggest you avoid.
Too much salt
“Whilst salt (sodium) certainly does play a role within the body and is an essential component of the diet, for most meeting our daily requirements is far from difficult and in fact many within the UK are eating too much.
“The maximum recommended intake of salt per day is 6g, yet on average we’re consuming 8g per day. Eating too much salt can raise blood pressure, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Most of our salt is hidden in foods; therefore, it can be difficult to quantify how much we’re consuming each day. It has been estimated that as much as 75% of our salt intake comes from everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.
“A quick way for checking the salt content of your food is to read food labels. If a food has more than 1.5g salt per 100g then this product is high in salt, if it has less than 0.3g salt per 100g the product is low in salt. The traffic light labelling system is also a fast track way of identifying the quantity of salt in our food.
“Unfortunately, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of believing the marketing hype around so-called healthy alternatives such as pink Himalayan salt. A quick Google search will tell you that this pretty pink salt can cure all, which can lead to liberal use within our food. However, a lot of these claims are far from the truth and at the end of the day we must watch all types of salt intake.
“Instead, try adding flavour to your food with spices and mixed herb, buy tinned pulses and vegetables without added salt, watch intakes of smoked or cured meats and always check and compare food labels.”
– Lily Soutter, London nutritionist