We all know that salt is bad for us, we see the health hazards everywhere. Salt is in a lot of the foods around us that we have every day; bread, cereals, sauces, soups, processed foods. That’s about 75-80% mostly hidden in our everyday foods. That is why we are having too much of it, way too much, because we are surrounded by it.
This increased intake can have consequences to our health like; high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney disease and heart disease. But the good news is that something can be done to reduce, prevent and reverse the risk of these life-threatening illnesses. Yay!
The aim for the campaign this year is to: Stop…Look…Choose the lowest salt option. Take a little time out to read the food labels. Identify and realise how much salt is in the food we eat. Here is a table to show you the cut=off points, this will help you to see if the food contains little, average or too much salt. The daily guideline for adults is 6g/day which is only a teaspoon. Our body doesn’t even need this much, and it’s even less for children.
The taste of the food we eat should come from the natural food then from adding salt. We can however, add natural healthy flavourings, like herbs and spices, to make it more appealing to our taste buds.
Reducing and limiting the salt we consume and add to our cooking can be done - our taste buds can be adapted. It takes about 2-3 weeks for our taste buds to get used to the lower salt taste. I’ll say it again, it can be done! It will be hard at the beginning but think about your long-term goals of preventing high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. All which can affect the quality of your life.
Here are some simple steps to take to change the foods that are high in salt to moderate then to low in salt. Save this picture, print it out and stick it on your fridge to remind yourself. Work on a different food every week. Simple steps will help you get there and make it easier for you to adapt and change to a healthier lifestyle.
Remember keep an eye on your end goal and think of the bigger picture.
National Salt Awareness Week: 10th -17th March 2014
Stop…Look…Choose…the lowest salt option.
Be Happy! Be Healthy!
By Ayshabibi H.
A H Nutritionist
7th April 2014