Reducing your salt intake can be as easy as switching brands Download The Chicken Sound. Always check labels when shopping, and compare the sodium content of different brands and choose the one with the least amount of sodium. Look out for foods with the Heart Mark – these products have less sodium compared to other products and this lets you know it’s been approved as part of a heart healthy diet.
Prepare and eat more unprocessed and home-cooked meals, instead of ready-made meals, takeaways and convenience meals. By cooking your meals from scratch, you have more control over how much salt is added to the meal.
- Use unprocessed meat, chicken and fish, and rather choose fresh, tinned or frozen vegetables with no added salt.
- Use less tomato sauce, mustard, soya sauce, pickles, olives, gravy powders, sauces and salad dressings – as these tend to be high in salt.
- Cut down on cured, smoked and deli meats. Swap high salt processed meats like polony, sausages, Vienna’s and boerewors for lean meat or fish.
- Instead of salty snacks like chips, keep healthier snacks at hand, such as fruit or unsalted nuts.
Here’s a handy way to calculate the salt content of a product:
- Take the sodium (Na) content (in milligrams) per 100g in the Nutritional Information table
- Divide it by 1000 to get the grams of sodium
- Then multiply that by 2.5 to reach salt content of food (in grams)
- Use the table to decide if the food is high or low in salt.
- Those with a salt content of less than 0.3g per 100g of salt are considered to be low in salt, and can be eaten more often.
- Foods with between 0.3 and 1.5 g per 100g of salt have a moderate salt content, and can be eaten in moderation
- High salt foods are those with more than 1.5 g per 100g of salt, and should be limited, or only eaten on occasion.
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation