7th March 2021
When it comes to food, we usually tend to fall into two camps. You either have a sweet tooth and prefer sugar, or you love your savouries and favour salt.
Whether it be salty crisps, salty cheese or salty peanuts, some of us just need that fix of sodium to satisfy our cravings.
But as World Salt Awareness Week gets under way, we want to explore why too much salt may not be the best additive to your diet, and how you can actively reduce your salt consumption.
Why is too much salt a bad thing?
The British Heart Foundation recommends that we stick to 6g of salt as our daily limit (BFH, n.d.). Unfortunately, the average adult is currently consuming 8.6g a day, which may not seem like that much more, but over time can certainly add up. High sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure which in turn can lead to heart disease, which is why it’s better to get a handle on your salt consumption whilst you can.
Below are some tips on how you can go about achieving that.
Read food labels
We’ve said it before in previous blogs and we’ll say it again. Read, read and read food labels! There is no better magic than having all the nutritional information you need at your fingertips.
0.3g of salt per 100g is what you should be aiming for, especially if you want to consume foods which are considered low in salt (BFH, n.d.).
However, you do need to watch out, as some food labels like to list the sodium content instead of salt. If this is the case, you need to multiply the sodium amount by 2.5 to arrive at the salt content. And remember, your overall daily consumption should be around 6g.
Stick to fresh produce where possible
It might sound like common sense, but it’s worth reiterating. Where possible, always stick to fresh and wholesome products.
Processed foods have been changed from their original raw form and usually been altered by sodium-containing additives which could make them less healthy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).
It’s important to note that most of our sodium intake does come from processed and restaurant foods rather than the salt we add to food ourselves. So, making an entire lifestyle shift is well worth it.
Choose smartly when it comes to spices and seasoning
Salt is usually added to food to provide taste. However, if you choose wisely when it comes to spices and seasoning, you can surpass any taste deficits and ensure that your salt content remains low.
Herbs and spices which are low in sodium include basil, oregano, rosemary, cloves, curry powder and cayenne pepper. Alternatively, you can utilise fresh ginger and garlic to help spruce up a dish or opt for tangy citrus zests such as lemon and lime to bring a fresh taste to the buds.
Remove salt and sauces off the table
The old age saying of “out of sight, out of mind” could not be more applicable than here. We all know it’s easy to reach for the saltshaker when it’s in plain sight, but by removing it from the dining table you could be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run.
Also, beware of table sauces. Research carried out by Queen Mary University of London revealed that some brands of table favourites such as hot sauce, tomato ketchup and peri-peri can sometimes contain up to 93 times more salt than alternative brands which are considered low-salt examples (Action on Salt, 2019).
If you can, simply get rid of table sauces. But if you absolutely need them then make sure you read food labels and opt for brands which are working towards keeping salt content low.
How can Peel help?
Well, Peel is always at your service when it comes to providing fresh produce. Especially in the form of our juices which are made from wholesome fresh fruit and ingredients.
We serve House Juices, Green Juices, Super Juices and Shots which are all made from freshly pressed produce. You can be sure that no added salt, or sugar for that matter, is put into any of our servings.
10 tips for understanding food labels. (n.d.). British Heart Foundation. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/sugar-salt-and-fat/10-tips-for-understanding-food-labels#:~:text=Salt%20content%20is%20labelled%20on,work%20out%20the%20salt%20content.
Get the facts: sodium’s role in processed foods. (2017). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/sodium_role_processed.pdf
Sauces survey. (2019). Action on Salt Organisation. http://www.actiononsalt.org.uk/salt-surveys/2019/sauces-survey/
Why is too much salt bad for you? (n.d.). British Heart Foundation. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/sugar-salt-and-fat/hold-the-salt