Why we need to cut salt?
Although the strongest evidence is for the effect that a high salt diet has on blood pressure, stroke and heart disease, there is also a wide body of evidence indicating a link between salt consumption and other conditions.
Salt has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure
- Stomach Cancer
- Kidney Disease & Kidney Stones
- Cardiovascular Disease (stroke, heart disease and heart failure)
- Water retention/bloating
Salt is also thought to exacerbate the symptoms of:
- Meniere’s Disease
Current salt intake & dietary advice
Almost everyone in the UK (and the rest of the Western world) eats too much salt. The daily recommended amount in the UK is no more than 6 grams a day; the current average salt intake is 8.1g salt a day!
Some simple tips to help you use less salt, including:
?Replacing salt with chilli, citrus, fresh herbs, garlic, black pepper and spices.
?Cutting back on sauces such as soy sauce, ketchup and salad dressings which can contain lots of hidden salt.
?Using lower salt-stocks, or making your own low-salt stock.
?Cook from scratch using unprocessed meat, fish and vegetables
?Use fresh, tinned or frozen vegetables with no added salt
?And remember – ALL salt is salt (even the posh sea, pink, black, rock, crystal or flakes!) but there are low-sodium alternatives for those who need a little more time to adjust to a less salty taste.
?It only takes 3 weeks for our taste buds to adapt and become more sensitive to salt, so you get the same flavour impact from less salt.
?If you can’t get used to less salt, try using low sodium alternatives such as LoSalt
?This Salt Awareness Week, help us celebrate home cooking – the meals that shape our cultures and societies, the meals we grew up with and the recipes we’ve tried and loved. All with More Flavour, Less Salt!
- Know which foods are high in salt and try to swap these for healthier alternatives. See our shopping guide: Leaflet – Shopping Guide [PDF 606KB]:
High salt foods include:
– processed meat and fish e.g. ham, bacon, salami, sausages, pate, smoked fish
– convenience foods e.g. pizza, pasties, ready meals, canned/packet soups
– salty snacks e.g. crisps, salted nuts, burgers, chips, salted popcorn
- Always remember to check the labels and choose lower salt options
- Swap from branded products to retailers’ own brands, as they tend to be lower in salt
- Look for lower salt and ‘no added salt’ versions of your usual foods in the supermarket e.g. canned vegetables, tinned fish in spring water, ketchup and baked beans
- Salt and Your Health
- Recipe books
- Shopping guide
- British Heart Foundation Heart Matters online
Information courtesy of the Action on Salt