All in a days work: Kate the retiree and part-time share trader
Kate is 74 and her diet has changed drastically in the past couple of months “thanks to being diagnosed with Meniere’s disease” (an inner ear condition aggravated by salt). She says “My body is thanking me for the change, but my taste buds are not!”
Since the diagnosis, she has drastically reduced her salt intake. A trip to the supermarket now means scanning labels, and although it’s a pain at times it is well worth the effort, as failure to do so results in violent dizzy spells and nausea. She finds her taste buds are slowly adapting and she can now taste salt where she couldn’t before, to the point where it stings her tongue. However she’s struggling to enjoy her meals despite trying to use lots of chilli and herbs to compensate, and has instead turned to sugar! Her reduced enjoyment in eating has resulted in at least a 3kg weight loss. When she’s not feeling dizzy she is quite active, walking everywhere and playing bowls twice a week.
One piece wholemeal toast with sugar and saltfree peanut butter. Tea with milk and sweetener, glass of juice made from two squeezed oranges.
Small bowl of yoghurt and stewed fruit. Two plain sweet biscuits.
One piece wholemeal bread topped with roast beef and green salad with no-salt vinaigrette. Couple of squares of dark chocolate.
Small handful of unsalted roasted nuts. Coffee with milk and two plain sweet biscuits. Couple of jube sweets.
Two large gin and tonics with a handful of unsalted chips.
I loathe my dinner now. Small helping of spaghetti bolognese made without salt and a small green salad.
Chocolate-coated mini ice cream on a stick.
Nadia Lim’s nutrition quick fix
Salt is made up of sodium chloride (a naturally occurring chemical compound). A high salt diet is strongly linked to an increased rate of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease — so by significantly reducing your salt intake you’re doing your health a favour there too! In the Western world, up to 80 per cent of our salt intake comes from processed foods, so your best bet to reduce your salt intake is to cut out as much processed food as you can (note: bread is generally a high-sodium food) and have more fresh foods. It takes at least 3-4 weeks for your taste buds to adapt to a low-salt diet as food tastes very bland at first. Vinegars, lemon juice and onion and garlic powder (not onion or garlic salt!) can all enhance flavours in your food. There are also salt substitutes available on the market, which are made of potassium chloride — these can interfere with some medical conditions and medications so if you want to try it, consult your doctor first.