Salt Reduction Campaign
Salt Awareness Week 11-17 March 2013
World Salt Awareness week aims to raise awareness of the dangers of too much salt in the diet. Download our salt resources below, as well as the blood pressure and stroke risk reduction materials on the general resources page.
How salt-smart are you?
The Stroke Foundation has launched a new website to help consumers make smarter choices to reduce the amount of salt in their diet. It takes the form of two interactive quizzes testing your knowledge of salt, sodium, food ingredients and blood pressure amongst other things. Why not give it a try?
The Stroke Foundation is committed to increasing its involvement in salt reduction activities in light of incontrovertible evidence that salt, or rather the sodium in salt, is harmful to health. Too much salt in the diet can lead to high blood pressure which increases the risk of stroke. A high salt intake is also a risk factor for heart disease, kidney disease, and stomach cancer and may also be a contributor to osteoporosis.
One way of significantly reducing blood pressure is to reduce salt/sodium intake. The World Health Organization recommends a daily salt intake of between 3g to 6g (6g is about one teaspoon of salt). New Zealanders consume an average of 9g of salt a day which is far more than our bodies need to stay healthy.
The benefits of even a modest reduction in salt intake are large. Globally, a reduction in salt intake to 6g a day would lead to a 24 percent reduction in stroke deaths and an 18 percent reduction in coronary heart disease, as a result of the decrease in blood pressure (World Action on Salt and Health, 2009).
About 75 percent of salt in our diets comes from processed or packaged foods. A quick look at the nutrition information panel on packaged foods can reveal some surprisingly high sodium levels. Just one cup of canned soup can contain more than 50 percent of the recommended daily sodium intake. A serving of some menu items in a restaurant can put a diner over their recommended daily intake in just one meal.
Just to recap:
- A diet high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure, stroke and other health problems.
- Most Kiwis consume an average 9g or 1.5 teaspoons of salt a day. Ideally this amount should be reduced by at least 50 percent.
- Most of our sodium intake comes from hidden salt in processed or packaged foods.
- Foods generally very high in sodium include processed meats (eg salami, bacon, sausages etc), smoked foods, marmite, anchovies, foods canned in brine and many types of fast foods and takeaways. Tomato sauces, dressings, soy sauces, marinades, chippies, instant noodles are also high in sodium.
- Popular foods such as bread, breakfast cereals, cheese, baked beans, crackers etc, can contribute significantly to our daily salt intake as we tend to eat a lot of these foods.
Tips for reducing salt intake
- Increase your consumption of fresh foods. Most fresh foods (fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, unsalted nuts,milk) are generally lower in salt than processed foods.
- Cut back on fast foods and other takeaways.
- When buying processed packaged foods, check the nutrition information panels to assess sodium levels and help you choose lower sodium items. Food is low in salt/sodium if it has less than 120mg of sodium per 100g of food.
Don't know how to check the nutrition information panel? Click here.
- Use herbs, spices and other seasonings instead of salt when cooking and at the table.
- Read our pamphlet resource: Slash the Salt.
|Go Easy on SALT poster.pdf||520.77 KB|
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