Go unsalted – The risks of eating too much salt
Too much salt leads to the deaths of 2.3 million people across the world in just one year.
We all know that too much salt can cause raised blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Which are exactly the main health risks of eating too much salt?
- abnormal heart development;
- kidney disorders;
- dehydration and swelling;
- digestive diseases (acid reflux; heart burn; duodenal and gastric ulcers and cancers);
- electrolyte and hormone imbalance.
How much salt should we have each day?
- Adults : 6g of salt/ day (2.4g sodium)= one full teaspoon;
- Children 1 to 3 years – 2g salt a day (0.8g sodium)
- Children 4 to 6 years – 3g salt a day (1.2g sodium)
- Children 7 to 10 years – 5g salt a day (2g sodium)
- Children 11 years and over – 6g salt a day (2.4g sodium).
What foods should be avoided because of their high content of salt?
- gravy granules
- salted and dry roasted nuts
- salt fish
- smoked meat and fish
- soy sauce etc.
What should be done to avoid having too much salt?
To cut down the salt intake, you should:
– Stop adding salt automatically to your food before tasting it: many people add salt out of habit, but even if it is often unnecessary; remember that 75% of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.
– Shop for low salt foods – Foods rich in salt contain more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium), while the foods low in salt have 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium);
– Cook with less salt– Your food can be tasty without too much salt, if you’ll use other seasoning options, such as black pepper, fresh herbs and spices; use garlic, ginger, chilly and lime.
– Make smart choices when eating out: for example, for pizza, choose vegetable or chicken toppings instead of pepperoni, bacon or extra cheese; for pasta dishes, choose one with a tomato sauce with vegetables or chicken, rather than bacon, cheese or sausage; for salads, ask for dressings or sauces on the side, so you only have as much as you need etc.