Blog from the Healthy4Life team:

14-20 March 2022 is Salt Awareness Week!

It’s the perfect time to take stock of how much salt you’re consuming in your day-to-day life, intentional or not!

Do you know how much salt is enough?

Babies will start to consume small amounts of salt when the weaning process begins,  but parents and carers should keep this to a minimum (less than 1g per day) as their kidneys are still developing and aren’t able to process it easily.

Children should aim for:

  • no more than 2g a day when aged between 1 and 3
  • no more than 3g a day when aged between 4 and 6
  • no more than 5g a day when aged between 7 and 10

Adults and children over 11 years old should limit their intake to no more than 6g of salt per day (which is equal to about one teaspoon).

Why should we be reducing our salt intake?

Too much salt can raise blood pressure which can in turn increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Some foods are naturally high salt, while other foods have salt added to them in the cooking and manufacturing process. It is important to know which foods contain a lot so you can be mindful of how much you and your family are consuming:

  • Cheese
  • Prawns and smoked fish
  • Ham, bacon, salami, sausages, and other meats
  • Gravy, soy sauce, pasta sauces, stock cubes and other cooking sauces
  • Ketchup, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and other condiments
  • Salted and dry roasted nuts and seeds
  • Sandwiches and some bread products like bagels and crumpets
  • Pizza and other takeaways
  • Ready meals
  • Crisps
  • Soup

Top tips for cutting down on salt intake:

  • Read food labels to get an understanding of how much is in each item, remember 6g is equal to around one teaspoon)
  • So many people add salt before they pick up their knife and fork; make sure you taste your food before you add any additional salt
  • When eating out, try asking for dressings or sauces on the side so you can choose how much you eat
  • Consider making some sauces instead of using packets/jars
  • Try using black pepper, herbs, and spices to add flavour to your cooking
  • Choose chicken or veggie-based toppings/meals when eating out to avoid having too many red meats