Maybe you think you don’t have to worry about salt. After all, you don’t have high blood pressure, you’re not overweight and you exercise regularly.
Well, think again. A major study, based on data from more than 12,000 American adults, took into account all those risk factors for death from heart disease. The researchers found that while a diet high in sodium — salt is the main source — increases your risk, even more important is the ratio of sodium (harmful) to potassium (protective) in one’s diet.
When people whose meals contained little sodium relative to potassium were compared with those whose diets had a high sodium-to-potassium ratio, the latter were nearly 50 percent more likely to die from any cause and more than twice as likely to die from ischemic heart disease during a follow-up period averaging 14.8 years.
Although there has been on-and-off controversy about the value of limiting dietary salt, there is no question that a high level of sodium in the diet raises blood pressure and the risk of chronic hypertension by stiffening arteries and blocking nitric oxide, which relaxes arteries. Hypertension, in turn, contributes to heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death.
Potassium, on the other hand, activates nitric oxide and thus reduces pressure in the arteries, lowering the risk of hypertension.
1-1/3 tbsp olive oil
50 g onion (diced)
200 g aborio rice
3-1/3 tbsp white wine
3¼ cups chicken broth
30 g Parmesan cheese
30 g Gruyere cheese
30 g Mascarpone cheese
3 stalks asparagus (diced)
20 g fresh button mushroom (diced)
40 g edamame
- Add some olive oil in a skillet, sauté asparagus, mushroom and edamame for 1 minute. Seasoned with salt and black pepper. Remove and set aside.
- Add remaining olive oil in skillet, sauté onion until softened. Add rice and stir for 30 seconds. Mix in wine and cook until half of the wine is evaporated.
- Add chicken broth in batches while the rice continues to cook. Stir regularly to avoid rice sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
- When the rice is 90% cooked, return vegetables in Step 1 and add the cheeses. Stir to combine. Continue to cook until the rice is completely cooked. Season with salt and black pepper before serving.
Source: Hong Kong magazine