Parting Company with Salt
The Salt Factor: Ending my Love with Salt
I thought “how insipid!” as the Caucasian lady detailed her recipe for cooking Salmon. She said “I just put it in the oven and cooked it.” I said “what did you season it with!? She said “nothing, it has its own flavor and fat.” I responded “what about salt and pepper?” She replied “I don’t and it comes out very tasty”
This was a conversation I had with my Caucasian friend and her cooking style. Because of my love of different cultures I usually ask a lot of questions when I meet persons from other cultures regarding their norms. As a person of African heritage with Jamaican upbringing I found it hard to decipher someone cooking Salmon without seasoning and saying that it was tasty. But the more I reflected on this scenario, the more it opened my eyes that maybe our love for salt on our foods was the detriment to our health.
As I continued to reflect, my mind took me back to Jamaica and my growing up years and our high consumption of salted food. I remember adding salt to avocadoes, tomatoes, cucumber – salt was like my salad dressing. I also remember our love of salted fish and meats. Our soups were not complete without salted beef or salted pork. And our breakfast was not complete without salted mackerel with bananas, salted fish with ackee or salted fish with callaloo.
Research has shown that peoples of African descent have a higher salt sensitivity than our white counterparts; and research has also shown that salt increases blood pressure! So it means that we need to reduce our salt intake as a part of the high blood pressure fix.
So the conversation with my friend was the turning point that made me reflect that we were adding too much salt to our food and our need to reduce our salt intake as a means to improve our health. We know that our bodies need salt to function but too much is a detriment to our health.
Since my conversation with my friend I have slowly decreased my love of salt on many foods: I no longer use salt on avocadoes, and boiled egg. I am also reducing the amount of salt that I use in my everyday cooking.
So let’s take charge of our health and substitute our love for salted food with natural herbs and spices. In doing this we will reduce the high blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.
Remember “Our Health is our Greatest Wealth”