We’ve been hearing for awhile that too much salt is bad for our health. A major recent study also suggests that too little salt can harm us, too.
Either way, it’s important to know how much salt you’re really eating. Here’s a way of finding out exactly what’s in the food in front of you: a thermometer-type device from Japan that measures salt content. Pop it into a soup or sauce, and it will give you a percentage readout. The display can show from 0.3% up to 2% salt content. So if you’re having a 400-gram bowl of soup, and the meter says 1%, you know you’re eating 4 grams of salt.
The recommended amount of sodium a day is 2,300 milligrams per person. Or 1,500 milligrams, if you’re older than 51 years, African American, or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease.
Getting below recommended salt intake numbers is harder if you’re eating processed or restaurant foods, which have much more salt in them than the pinch or two you add yourself. The average person consumes 75% of salt in this way, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The sodium meter device works best if the liquid is 140 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t work at all with cold items or solid snacks (you’ll have to guess when it comes to potato chips). Sold by Japanese gadget store Thanko, you can find the gadget here.