Be savvy about salt
National Salt Awareness Week asks us to call time on salt. Campaigns by institutions such as the government, NHS, and food sectors have revealed that the UK’s salt reduction programme can lead to almost 200,000 fewer adults developing heart disease, which in addition, could be a £1.64 billion saving in health care costs by 2050.
Together with our in-house caterers, we are committed to taking action to drop the salt. As with many other health issues, misconceptions and myths abound. Many believe that it is only a cause for concern in their later years. When actually, consuming too much salt during childhood can raise blood pressure which then tracks into adulthood and later life, increasing risk of health problems such as heart disease, hypertension and stroke. Whilst arming ourselves with the facts it is also important to proactively endeavour to reduce salt intake across all ages and try to stick to the suggested daily allowance, which for adults is no more than 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium) – that’s around 1 teaspoon.
We have put together a few top tips on how to reduce your salt intake, which we hope you will be able to apply as part of your daily routine:
- Substitute salt by adding additional herbs to your cooking, including rosemary, thyme, chives, sage, and other spices, to help enhance the flavour of the dish.
- Try wherever possible to avoid eating high salt foods e.g. bacon, olives, salted nuts, soy sauce, and smoked meat/fish.
- When cooking at home try your food first before adding salt and add black pepper as your go-to seasoning.
- Always read food labels in the supermarket to be able to choose lower salt foods, most companies use the traffic light label system to identify the level of salt – green (low), amber (medium), and red (high)
- Make your own stock and gravy instead of using cubes or granules or look out for reduced-salt products.
- Finally, try and limit takeaways. A Chinese takeaway dish, on average has more salt than 5 Big Macs!
- Avoid hidden salt in snacks and other foods claiming to be ‘healthy eating’. Do check out the food label. These include lentil crisps, corn snacks, and chickpea chips.
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