Too much salt can affect your health

Salt is in many foods that we consume, as well we add salt when we are cooking. Although salt provides taste, adding too much into your diet can affect your cardiovascular health overtime. A diet that is high in salt can result in raised blood pressure, which is bad for your health. This then could further lead to a bigger increase in the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. High blood pressure tends to not have any symptoms so many people who have it do not actually realise. There are a number of ways to get your blood pressure checked: at your GP practice, in the NHS Health Check (which can be booked through us once NHS Health Checks recommence), or if you have a machine at home then you can check it with that.

How much Salt can I have?

The amount of salt we consume each day as adults should be no more than 6g which is around 1 teaspoon. This also applies to children 11 years or older. Below 11 years old the range varies, you can check the NHS website for more information if you are concerned. Some food labels can contain only the sodium amount don’t get this confused with salt figures. The amount of sodium adults consume a day should be up to 2.4g.

Ensure that you are checking the salt content on food labels, and always try to choose the lower salt option. Most pre packaged food have nutrition labels on them which displays the content of salt on the front. Most foods now have the colour coded nutritional information which shows: green as low, amber as medium and red as high. Try avoid high-salt foods keeping them to only rare occasions. Always aim to have food that are either in amber or green, this can help to keep your cardiovascular health good. 

Tips on how to cut down

Here are some tips for cooking with less salt, almost every meal we cook it may be tempting to add salt. First you can try using black pepper instead of salt. Add fresh herbs and spices to your cooking such as garlic and chilli. Gravy is a food that contains a high amount of salt, so why not try making your own instead of using granules. When cooking vegetables try roasting them to bring out the flavour more rather than adding salt. Ensure that you go easy on soy sauce as this is very high in salt, always choose low-salt alternatives. These are a few tips to lower your salt intake, there’s lots of recipes online such as BBC Good Food.