Salt is an essential part of our diet but eating too much may put us at increased risk of developing high blood pressure, which can then be the cause of more serious conditions such as coronary heart disease.
How much salt do we need?
It is recommended that adults should not be eating more than 6g of salt (about one teaspoon) a day. The recommended salt intake for children varies from 2g to 6g depending on their age. For example, a child aged between 1-3 years should have a maximum of 2g of salt per day, whereas a child aged 7-10 years should eat no more than 5g of salt per day.
How do you know how much salt you are eating?
To really know how much salt we eat in our everyday diet we have to work out how much salt is in each part of our meals. The best way to do this is by checking the food label or nutritional information on the packaging of food you’re buying or eating. Most food products have a traffic light system on the label to help you see which foods are high, medium or low in salt. But, it’s not only the salt in the food we consume that we need to be mindful of, it’s also the amount of salt we add to our cooking and also to meals.
Which foods contain salt?
Many processed foods contain a considerable amount of salt, but it can also be found in lower measures within everyday foods like bread, soup and breakfast cereals, which when eaten regularly can make the salt they provide really add up.
How can we reduce the amount of Salt in our diets?
Simple ways to reduce your salt intake can be accomplished by:
- Checking the nutritional information on food labels and trying to pick low-salt options and ingredients
- Add less salt when cooking and don’t add salt to your food at the table. As you get used to the taste of food without salt, cut it out completely.
- Flavour your food with pepper, herbs, garlic, spices or lemon juice instead.
Information sourced: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/preventing-heart-disease/healthy-eating/salt
You can also find more information from Health Ambition at https://www.healthambition.com/how-much-sodium/
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