Tips on how to reduce Salt Intake

by - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

We're all aware that too much salt in our diet is bad for our health, but the hidden salt in food is what we really need to be careful of.

World Salt Awareness Week 2017 is from March 20th -26th and aims to raise awareness of salt in the diet, with this year’s theme called ‘Salt: The Forgotten Killer'. read my blog post on that here-
Here are a list of 5 food items that are surprisingly high in salt:-
  • Cereal- Probably the one you think is high in sugar is incredibly higher in salt than it is in sugar.
  • Bread- A slice of bread contains the same amount of salt as a packet of crisps which is shocking
  • Cheddar  Cheese- Cheeses already contain a high level of fats and proteins, however it is found that a serving contains more salt per serving than a packet of crisp.
  • Stock Cubes- Probably a culprit with this as I use stock cubes with mostly all my traditional cooking :-( You'd think its a flavour enhancer and should not contain salt; well they do contain as much as 50% salt.
  • Tinned Soup-  Supposed to be a very healthy lunch option, however a can of soup contains as much salt as a slice of pizza or even more.

Now here are tips on how to reduce the intake of salt or the above foods generally:-

  • Be sparing with sauces, especially soy sauce, as they are usually very high in salt
  • Cut down on salty snacks such as crisps – go for low-salt snacks such as dried fruit, sticks of vegetables and unsalted nuts
  • Try to eat less bacon, cheese, pickles, smoked fish and ready-made meals, as these contain high sodium levels
  • Add less salt when cooking – use herbs and spices to add flavour when cooking
  • Make your own stock, or opt for lower salt stock cubes
  • Get out of the habit of adding extra salt at the table – remember to taste your food first as often you’ll find it doesn’t need more.

The amount of salt you should take in on a daily basis varies depending on your age. Below are the recommended guidelines from the NHS:
  • Adults (and children 11 years and over) should consume no more than 6g of salt a day. This equates to approximately one teaspoon and contains roughly 2.4g of sodium
  • Children aged seven to 10 years should eat no more than 5g or less salt a day
  • Children aged four to six should consume 3g or less salt a day
  • Those aged one to three should consume 2g or less salt a day
  • Babies less than one year old should have less than 1g of salt a day. Babies that are breastfed will get the correct amounts required, and formula milk contains similar

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