Don’t take everything with a pinch of salt

Updated: Mar 15


Picture source: Forbes (2019)

Did you know that the 11-17 March 2021 is World Salt Awareness week?


I know what you’re probably thinking… not another one of THOSE boring health posts!

Well, I promise to try my best to give you something here that you haven’t heard before.


The topic of salt is an important one because excessive salt intake can result in high blood pressure and (unfortunately) high blood pressure is one of those “silent” conditions that you don’t know about until you have it. There are no general symptoms of high blood pressure, so it is a good idea to get your blood pressure checked from time to time.


From a young age- literally from when your baby starts solids- it is important to try and limit salt intake as much as possible. Salt isn’t just what is on the table that you add to your food, it’s hidden in so many other foods and flavourings too.


SALT FACTS

  • The recommended intake for adults according to World Health Organization is LESS than 5g salt per day- this is less than a teaspoon total salt for the whole day. Not just the salt you’re adding but the salt in foods and flavourings too

  • Most people consume 9-12g of salt per day- this is roughly double the maximum limit

  • Salt isn’t just what you see- some hidden sources of salt include: tinned foods, convenience (frozen) foods, cheese, deli meats, sauces, stock cubes and spice mixes

  • Roughly 80% of the salt you eat comes from processed foods

  • Not all salty foods taste salty- other ingredients such as sugar may hide the salty taste

  • Salt is salt- as beautiful as flaky sea salt and pink salt may look, and regardless of all the health claims that are made, they all contain similar levels of sodium chloride and there is no evidence to suggest that any type of salt is better or healthier


PRACTICAL WAYS TO REDUCE SALT INTAKE


  • If you’re a salt fan, slowly use less and less over time- your tastebuds will adapt and foods will start to taste less bland, and you’ll start to notice other flavours

  • Always taste food before just adding salt- sometimes the action of adding salt while cooking or after cooking is just a habit. Taste your food first AND try removing salt shakers from the table to get rid of the temptation to add salt

  • Rinse tinned foods- pour the food out into a sieve and rinse thoroughly with water to remove as much of the brine as possible

  • Make foods yourself, where possible- this is purely because you are aware of the ingredients and in control of what you add

  • Use low salt alternatives to flavour food- instead of using soup powder, stock, salt, aromat, store-bought sauces and salty spices RATHER try use things like fresh herbs, dried herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, chilli, garlic, onion, pepper and spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder and paprika.

It’s never too late to make a change, to kick some bad habits, make some new good habits and take control of your health.


Mommies, please be mindful of the salt intake of your little ones too. Remember, they only know “salty” once you introduce them to it. Although foods may taste bland to you without salt, they don’t know any different.









Instagram: @amberkellydietitian |

Email: info@amberkelly.co.za


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info@sheisawonder.co.za | South Africa, Port Elizabeth