Eating too much salt can make you at risk of developing high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you’re more likely to have strokes or heart disease. So it’s important for us to keep an eye on our salt intake at any age. Adults should consume no more than six grams of salt a day. That’s just over a teaspoon and children should be having even less. So, that six grams isn’t just the salt you’re adding to your food. In fact, it might surprise you to know that around 75 of the salt you eat.
Comes from manufactured foods. So, it’s in foods, perhaps without you even knowing it. It’s important never to add salt to food for babies. With children, watch the amount of salt you’re giving them, because the sort of foods that they eat in childhood, those habits will stay with them in adult life, so if they’ve got used to eating salty foods as a child, they’re going to demand saltier tastes as they grow older. There’s a whole range of foods that are high in salt. For example, some breakfast cereals, bought soups, pasta sauces, soy sauce,.
Mustard, pickles, mayonnaise. Then there are foods that you might not think are salty, like ham and cheese and bacon and bread. It makes sense to just keep an eye on how much you’re eating of these foods. If, for example, you had a couple of slices of toast in the morning, a sandwich at lunch, and maybe one or two slices of bread for the rest of the day, that clocks up around three grams of salt, half of the maximum acceptable amount that you should be having in a day.
Say no to salt
We’ve become so accustomed to salty foods, ever since we were young, and the foods that we might have eaten at school, the foods you eat at home, and the foods that you eat at a takeaway, so your taste buds have become used to salty tastes. So, although a food may have a lot of salt in it, you may not recognise it as being very salty. When you add things like soy sauce or chicken seasoning to cooked dishes there’s quite a lot of salt in there, so you don’t need to add extra salt.
You might see reduced salt on a label. That is slightly better. It’s 25 less salt than a comparable product. But it’s still got salt, and you still need to bear it in mind. So here are some tips for helping you to cut down on salt. When cooking, try other flavourings like lemon juice, ginger, chilli, garlic, herbs and spices. These can add a lot of flavour and can help you cut down on the amount of salt you’re adding. Don’t necessarily add salt before you’ve tasted your food. Don’t assume there’s not enough salt in it.