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Welcome to the Health Defence Blog - a blog about health, wellness and a healthier you. Brought to you by the Health Defence team at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, you'll find up-to-date information on a range of topics from what's in your food to the latest advice on e-cigarettes!
Megan - Health Promotion Specialist
May 6, 2016
Salt (or sodium) is a mineral found in the food that we eat. Eating too much salt can increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. It also causes your body to hold onto excess fluid and can make you thirsty. For people living with heart failure it is recommended to restrict the salt in your diet, as too much salt can make symptoms worse.
QUIZ - All of these foods contain added salt. List these four foods in order from highest to lowest salt content: sausage roll / cup of instant soup / 3 rashers of bacon / large bowl of cornflakes. (Hint: find the answer at the bottom of the page)
How much salt do we need?
Where is salt found?
How much salt is in your food?
Reading food labels is the easiest way to know exactly how much salt is in your food. Look per 100g of food – anything above 1.5g of salt per 100g of food is considered high (this may be colour-coded red). Check out our food label blog for more information. The salt content can vary widely between brands or varieties, so compare brands to find lower salt options.
What about the flavour?
Tips for reducing salt at home
Tips for eating out
Generally takeaways are very high in salt (….and fat) so are best in moderation. To lower your salt intake, try these:
Note: try not to use low sodium/salt alternatives. They don’t help your taste buds to adapt to less salt and they can be high in other minerals such as potassium (which may be harmful for some people).
QUIZ ANSWER – Did you get the order right? Ranked from lowest to highest salt content is: 1) large bowl of cornflakes, 2) sausage roll, 3) three rashers of bacon, 3) cup of instant soup. Tip: just one cup of soup provides more than 6g of salt – more than an adult needs in one day!
Photo credit: © Caterpillow | Dreamstime.com - Sea Salt In Wooden Spoon, © Larryrains | Dreamstime.com - Salt Shaker with a Stop Sign
***Disclaimer: always seek medical advice before starting a new diet, exercise regime or medication. The information in these articles is not a substitute for professional advice from a GP, registered dietitian or other health practitioner.