What you need to know about salt
A low salt diet helps keep you safe from stroke.
Most New Zealanders eat too much salt, without realising it. This can lead to:
· High blood pressure
· Heart disease
· Kidney disease
· Some cancers
How much salt should you be eating?
The New Zealand Ministry of Health recommends adults eat less than 5g of salt (2,000 mg of sodium) a day to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and the risk of stroke. That equals about one teaspoon a day.
What is the difference between salt and sodium?
Eating more whole foods (that is, foods which are as close to their natural form as possible) is your best line of defence against salt.
Here are some simple ways to boost your intake of whole foods:
· Replace packaged foods with homemade versions, then you’ll know exactly what you are eating.
· Try comparing labels on packaged food. Salt is listed as sodium. A low salt option will have less than 120mg of sodium per 100g of food. Click here if you want to know more about reading nutrition information panels.
· Use herbs, spices and other seasonings instead of salt when cooking.
· Eat less high salt foods such as 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. Try to pick lower salt options within these categories.
Want to know more about salt?
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