Salt: Knowledge is power

Salt is often added to packaged or processed foods as a preservative or for flavour SolidWorks 2016. Sometimes these foods don’t even taste particularly salty. For example, bread, cereals, hard/block margarines, gravy and soup powders, processed meat products like sausage, polony and pies, meat and vegetable extracts, and convenience meals are just some of the products containing hidden salt that can contribute to our salt intake. Of course, this means that your salt intake can be really high without you even knowing it. Stay one step ahead of hidden salt by reading product labels. Here’s a quick “how-to-guide” on understanding food label information.

  • Read the ingredients list to help identify foods that are high in salt. The first three ingredients listed on a label makes up the largest portion of the food. So avoid or eat less of a food if the word salt or any word with ‘sodium’ is listed in the first few ingredients
  • Find the nutrition panel on the back of your food product, find the values for sodium (sodium is the mineral in salt that if consumed in excess can increase blood pressure and makes up 40% of salt)
  • Look at the number for sodium in the per 100g column in the Nutritional Information table, and compare the value for similar products
  • Use the table below to decide if the food is high or low in sodium
  • Low sodium foods are those with less than 120mg sodium per 100g of the food – these can be eaten more often
  • Try to restrict your consumption of foods high in sodium (more than 600mg of sodium per 100g of food)
  • The maximum recommended amount of sodium for adults is 2000mg/day, or 5 g of salt. This figure should be lower for children.
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Want to find out more about Salt Watch, take a look here: Salt Watch Home Page.