The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed people’s lives in many ways, including the way we eat. Restrictions put in place to help slow the spread of the virus has meant that rather than socializing and eating in restaurants, cafes and/or outdoor markets, we are now spending more time at home. The time spent at home has led to an increase in home cooking. This has turned into an opportunity to make our favorites dishes or even get creative in the kitchen with new recipes and flavors. Given the lifestyle changes brought into place by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to decrease the consumption of salt when preparing our home-made meals. For instance, if a person uses a big pinch of salt to cook a favorite meal, this could easily lead to a daily increase in intake of salt. This is damaging our health and, in the future, can put us at risk for developing a noncommunicable disease.
During Salt Awareness Week, PAHO wants to encourage people and families in the Region to use less salt and replace it with herbs such as citrus, basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, paprika, garlic, black pepper, cumin, and spices. It is crucial to cut the use of sauces such as soy sauce, ketchup and salad dressings which can contain lots of hidden salt. And finally, using lower salt-stocks or making your own from chicken bones could be a good idea to lower salt in our recipes.