We’re willing to bet that you didn’t know adults should only be consuming no more than 6g of salt a day (that’s around 1 level teaspoon). It’s an easy assumption for us to make as research has now revealed that, on average, adults in England consume an eyewatering 8.4g a day – 40% above the national guideline.
In a devastating blow to salt fiends across the country, a diet high in salt is linked to high blood pressure (hypertension) which 15 million adults in the UK currently have. High blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for heart diseases in the UK and contributes to around half of heart attacks and strokes.
It’s all too easy to eat too much salt, as most of the salt we consume comes from the food we buy like bread, breakfast cereals and meat products, as opposed to being added during cooking or eating.
In a bid to shake salt habits across the nation, we’ve put together our top tips to slash your salt intake and ease your blood pressure.
Be mindful when dining out
When eating out, it’s easy to go over the recommended maximum amount of salt without even noticing as some dishes alone pack more than your entire daily maximum.
Most high-street chain restaurants now supply their nutritional information online which can be a helpful tool when choosing what to order, but if this isn’t an option, try to stray away from dishes containing high-salt foods like bacon, sausage and pepperoni.
Cook from scratch
Resist the temptation of opening up Ubereats or heading to your microwave to heat up your ready meal. Although takeaways and ready-made meals are convenient, they are often packed with salt (or sodium) which can send your blood pressure skyrocketing.
We’ve got you sorted with plenty of fuss-free and low-cost recipes to whip up in your kitchen in no time. Click here to browse them.
Be carb clever
As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news, we’re here to tell you that bread ranks fairly high in the salt department. Action on Salt revealed that some sliced bread sold in UK supermarkets contain as much salt in one slice as a bag of ready salted crisps.
You don’t have to give up bread if you’re on a mission to reduce your salt intake but just be mindful of how much you’re consuming in a day and look for alternatives such as wrapping your burger in a lettuce ‘bun’ rather than a bread bun.
Go easy on the condiments
You’d be surprised at the hidden salt in sauces like mayonnaise and soy sauce. There’s 2.75g per tablespoon of salt in soy sauce which is almost half the daily maximum recommended amount. If you’re using sauces, use them sparingly or try to find reduced-salt alternatives.
Make the swap
Processed meats like ham, sausages and bacon are some of salt’s worst offenders. If you’re trying to lower your salt intake, we recommend making the switch to fresh poultry like chicken, or fish which are both low-salt protein sources.