Salt Reduction Campaign
What You Need to Know About Salt
We aim to raise awareness of the dangers of too much salt in the diet. Consumer magazine has published an article highlighting the issue.
Read our press release on the article: Kids' lunches packing a salty punch
Download our salt resources below, as well as the blood pressure and stroke risk reduction materials on the general resources page. And take our Saltwise quiz (below right) to learn more about the salt in our food.
Most New Zealanders eat too much salt. This can lead to:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- some cancers
The Stroke Foundation is therefore committed to salt reduction strategies. This includes efforts to reduce the amount of salt in processed foods and raise consumer awareness of ways to reduce salt in cooking and at the table.
Much can be gained from reducing salt consumption, with global estimates suggesting that a 9.5 per cent reduction in salt consumption could prevent around 510,000 strokes1.
How much salt should you be eating?
The World Health Organisation recommends a daily salt intake of between three to six grams (six grams is about one teaspoon). New Zealanders consume an average of nine grams of salt a day2.
What is the difference between salt and sodium?
Salt is made from the minerals sodium and chloride. Around 40 per cent of salt is sodium and 60 per cent is chloride. The body needs some sodium but too much can harm our health.
Three simple tips to reduce your salt intake:
- Increase your consumption of fresh unprocessed foods. Around 75 per cent of the salt we consume comes from processed or packages foods. The biggest offenders include processed meats, smoked foods, Marmite, foods canned in brine, takeaways, chips, instant noodles and sauces such as tomato, soy sauce and dressings. Breads, breakfast cereals, cheese, baked beans and crackers also contribute significantly to our daily salt intake as we tend to eat a lot of these foods.
- When buying processed packaged foods, check the nutrition information panel. Salt is listed as sodium. A low salt option will have less that 120mg of sodium per 100g of food. Click here if you want to know more about reading nutrition information panels (http://www.stroke.org.nz/checking-sodium-levels)
- Use herbs, spices and other seasonings instead of salt when cooking and at the table.
Download or order the following resources:
1. Smith-Spangler CM, Juusola JL, Enns EA, Owens DK, Garber AM. Population strategies to decrease sodium intake and the burden of cardiovascular disease: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Apr 20;152(8):481-7.
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