So why is there so much salt in some of the foods we purchase? And why is it so bad for us?
Salt is added to foods not just to improve the flavour but also to preserve it. Too much salt is thought to increase blood pressure which can cause stroke, heart disease and sometimes chronic kidney disease, however, some of us do need to look at ways to reduce the amount of salt consumed. A certain amount of salt each day in our diets is good, but how much exactly are we meant to have?
The NHS recommends that adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium) – that’s around 1 teaspoon of salt and for children it depends on what age they are.
There are many products that have hidden salt in them, however, in order to try and keep to the recommended daily intake, look out for products with the low salt label such as gravy, tomato ketchup, bread, tinned goods such as baked beans, and tinned tomatoes, sausages and ready meals.
In addition, try not to add salt to the pan whilst cooking. If you have to add some salt, add it to plated food to enable you to easily measure how much salt you’re consuming. If you do want to add salt, look out for a salt substitute that’s low in sodium.
Choose foods that are naturally low in salt or that have no salt in them such as fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables.
Try and steer away from those which are high in salt such as fast food products or processed foods such as processed meats and cheeses, cured meats and pre-prepared meals, soups, pizza, sandwiches and more surprisingly, bread. This also includes snacks such as salt and vinegar crisps or pretzels. It also includes sweets such as salted caramel chocolate or salted fudge.
It’s always advisable to consult your GP before reducing salt in your diet or making any changes to your diet.
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