This week is Salt Awareness Week.
Since training as a Dietitian, I knew that 75% of the salt we eat comes from processed food. Since having children I’ve become even more aware of what this really means.
What is the problem? In short, too much salt in our diets can lead to high blood pressure, water retention and ultimately an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.
When children are under 12 months old, it is recommended that they don’t eat more than 1g salt per day (less than ¼ of a teaspoon) because their kidneys can’t cope with it. Children aged 4-6 years it’s less than 4g per day, and for ages 11+ and adults it’s less than 6g per day. In reality, most of us are eating more like 8g per day and don’t even realise it!
Foods to check for high salt content are breads, breakfast cereals, jarred sauces, soups and snacks to name a few. Check the labels and choose lower salt alternatives where possible. As always, salt content should be put in context: Our regular bread (pictured) contains 1.03g salt per 100g which is on the higher end of medium-high for salt intake. I choose this bread for my family because we like it, we limit other foods like salty snacks and we try to make as much as possible from scratch. It also contributes other nutrients to our diet such as fibre, a small amount of protein and added Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). Tot up how much you’re having and see if you’re within the guidelines most of the time. For more information see this Fact Sheet https://www.bda.uk.com/uploads/assets/22e8b887-f2bd-4efe-894c929676479a0a/Salt-food-fact-sheet.pdf.
Happy label checking and if you’d like to talk more about your diet and how I can help call me on 07485 156916 or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.