Hypertension affects a staggering 40% of the world's population and is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death globally. Epidemiological evidence indicates a strong link between salt intake and the development of high blood pressure. Combating the UK population's high salt consumption therefore is a means of reducing the incidence of hypertension and in turn cardiovascular disease. A recently developed salt substitute Smart Salt® contains 40% less sodium, the mineral component attributing to hypertension, than regular table salt. No studies to date have investigated the use of this salt substitute in cooking, a standard use of table salt in the home setting. The aim of this study was therefore to determine the effect of the addition of Smart Salt® during cooking on the levels of important bioactive compounds (antioxidants, total phenolics, chlorophyll and total carotenoids) in peas.
Frozen peas were cooked using standard microwaving, boiling and steaming procedures without salt as well as with table salt, LoSalt and Smart Salt®. Laboratory methods to analyse the antioxidant activity, total phenolics, chlorophyll content and total carotenoids of both the cooked peas and cooking water were carried out. One way ANOVAs with Bonferroni post hoc corrections were used to determine significant differences. Significance was determined by a p value of ≤0.05.
Levels of antioxidants, phenolics, chlorophyll and carotenoids following cooking with Smart Salt® were found to have no significant difference with those observed when using table salt. Moreover, antioxidant status in peas was significantly increased specifically when microwaving with the addition of Smart Salt® compared to the same cooking process carried out with no salt.
The findings of this study signifies there are no negative effects on the nutritional value of peas when cooked with this low sodium salt substitute compared with table salt. In addition, the use of Smart Salt® in fact improves the antioxidant status in peas specifically when microwaving over the same cooking process with no salt. Smart Salt® is therefore considered to be a suitable alternative to table salt in cooking, permitting a considerable reduction in sodium intake for the consumer thereby helping to prevent hypertension and in turn cardiovascular disease.
Keywords:Smart Salt®, Salt, Cooking Methods, Phytonutrients, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease||