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STAMPING OUT EXCESS SALT

January 25, 2005 12:00 PM

In the wake of the festivities many people may be cutting down on chocolate and alcohol, but what about the vast quantities of hidden salt in our daily diet?

With tomorrow (Wednesday) marking National Salt Awareness Day 2005, now is the perfect time to suss-out and stamp-out excessive salt.

Jan Cresswell, Senior Health Promotion Officer for Nutrition with NHS Greater Glasgow, said: "Many people think of salt as being something they can choose to add to food at the table, but in actual fact most of the salt we get has actually been added to our food during processing.

"On average we have about 9g of salt per day, but we should only be having about 6g, and even sweet things like hot chocolate and biscuits can be adding to our salt intake."

So what sort of common foods are high in salt?

There are various foods that are higher in salt than we might expect, such as:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Hot chocolate
  • Soup
  • Cooking sauces
  • Cheese
  • Smoked meat and fish
  • Stock cubes
  • Bacon
  • Crisps and savoury snacks

 

The Senior Health Promotion Officer went on: "Eating too much salt can raise blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke or heart disease.

"However if a person cuts down on salt, blood pressure will be reduced whether it was high to begin with or not. And when blood pressure goes down, so too does the risk of heart disease and stroke – regardless of a person's age."

So how can people cut down on hidden salt?

 

Jan explained: "Looking at food labels is a key way to do this. A high salt content would be where there is more than 1.25g of salt in the food, or 0.5g sodium per 100g.

"A low salt content would less than 0.25g salt or 0.1g sodium per 100g, so this would be the better choice."

ENDS

 For media enquiries, contact Caroline Jarvie tel: 0141 201 4447

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • National Salt Awareness Day 2005 is led by CASH - the Consensus Action on Salt and Hypertension
  • To find out more about salt intake, visit www.salt.gov.uk
  • Cutting down on salt is just one part of a healthy diet. Other ways to reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer are to eat more fruit and vegetables, eat more starchy foods like bread, potatoes and rice, and cut down on fat and sugar.

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