salt
salt

The Uk consumes 183,000,000 kg of salt every year. It is the major trigger of high blood pressure which opens doors to other lifestyle diseases. The NHS reports that intake drives up blood pressure in 30% men and 26% women in the Uk. Reducing our daily intake will result in 4147 preventable deaths each year, and save about £30billion spent on vasco-muscular disease treatments each year.

Any processed food contains some level of saltiness, so naturally its best practice to reduce consumption of processed food and increasing the fresh food intakes.

Find out below how to cut down on this consumption and save a life

How Does Salt Affect Heart Health?

Salt Shaker and Pile
Salt

Health authorities have been telling us to cut back on sodium for decades. They say you should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, preferably less

This amounts to about one teaspoon, or 6 grams of salt (salt is 40% sodium, so multiply sodium grams by 2.5).

Eating too much salt is claimed to raise blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

However, there are some serious doubts about the true benefits of sodium restriction.

It is true that reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure, especially in people with a medical condition called salt-sensitive hypertension (8).

But, for healthy individuals, the average reduction is very subtle.

One study from 2013 found that for individuals with normal blood pressure, restricting salt intake reduced systolic blood pressure by only 2.42 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by only 1.00 mmHg (9).

That is like going from 130/75 mmHg to 128/74 mmHg. These are not exactly the impressive results you would hope to get from enduring a tasteless diet.

What’s more, some review studies have found no evidence that limiting salt intake will reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes or death (10, 11).

3 top tips to reduce salt intake

When food shopping, check the label and choose the food that’s lower in salt. Look at the figure for salt per 100g (see example food label below):

• High is more than 1.5g  per 100g. May be colour-coded red.

• Low is 0.3g  or less per 100g. May be colour-coded green.

• Medium is between 0.3g and 1.5g  per 100g. May be colour-coded amber.

Eat foods high in salt less often and in smaller amounts. Go easy on condiments and sauces such as ketchup, mustard, soy sauce and pickles as they are high in .

Cooking with less.

• When seasoning, use black pepper, fresh herbs and spices instead.

• Make your own stock and gravy instead of using cubes or granules.

• Make sauces with fresh ingredients such as ripe tomatoes and garlic.

find out more about your safe limits