National Salt Awareness Week: Cutting down on salt

Did you know the average person in the UK eats around 8.1g of salt a day? Although our consumption of salt has decreased over the past decade, our intake is 2g more than the daily recommendation.

Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your chances of heart disease or stroke.

Cutting down on salt is not just done by decreasing how much salt we add to our cooking, it’s also done by checking the quantity of salt in the food we buy. Three-quarters of the salt we consume is already in the food we’ve purchased.

Most pre-packaged food should have a nutrition label on the back or side of the packaging. There are usually colour-coded nutrition labels so that you can see if the product has a high or low amount of salt in it:

  • Green (low)

  • Amber (medium)

  • Red (high)

Always try to buy food that is either in the green or amber colours and only eat small amounts of high in salt foods occasionally.

High in salt foods include:

  • Sausages, bacon and ham

  • Cheese, pizza and pastries

  • Gravy granules, ketchup, mayonnaise, brown sauce, mustard and soy sauce

  • Snacks like crisps, salted and roasted nuts

  • Breakfast cereals

  • Ready meals

  • Pasta sauces from a jar

Easy ways to help cut down on salt:

Make your meals from scratch: this can help you to know exactly what you are putting in your food and control how much salt you add.

Remove any temptation from the dinner table: by taking the salt shaker and sauces like ketchup and mayo off the table helps you to not think about them and eventually need them.

Swap your snacks: instead of crisps and salted nuts, try plain rice cakes, fruit or vegetables sticks.

Add flavours instead of salt: like black pepper, herbs, garlic, spices or lemon juices.

Change your lunch plans: swap a cheese and ham sandwich with a healthy chicken salad or a tinned processed soup with an easy homemade vegetable soup.

To help you kick start a low-salt diet try these three fantastic recipes:

Breakfast

Start the day with a warming apple and sultana porridge sprinkled with a little bit of brown sugar. This is a simple and easy breakfast that cuts out any hidden salts!

Lunch

Are you bored of the same old ham sandwich? Try this delicious tomato and basil soup packed with flavour, made with fresh ingredients.

Dinner

If your go to dinner is a fatty pizza, have a go at this cheats’ pizza calzone recipe. A lighter version of a folded pizza, filled with herby vegetables and a green leaf salad.