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Salt Awareness Week

Salt Awareness Week

Salt: How much are we really eating?

Salt is an important part of our daily diets as we need it to maintain healthy muscles, nerves and blood pressure, however ingesting large amounts over extended periods can have adverse effects.

Salt Awareness Week, which runs from 16 to 22 March, aims to increase awareness of how salt can affect our health.

Salt is one of the factors which contribute to hypertension. In South Africa, hypertension is implicated in the cause of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and premature death.

Naazneen Khan, Health and Wellness Manager at Nestlé South Africa says the daily recommended allowance for adults is 5grams (approximately a teaspoon), however the majority of South
Africans are ingesting twice this amount – mainly coming from the consumption of bread.

Interestingly, a single sandwich made from most types of breads contains approximately 200 to 344 milligrams of sodium – the equivalent of 24 percent of your daily allowance, she adds.

“Children need guidance from their parents when it comes to their food choices. Forming good eating habits from a young age is highly beneficial and can help avoid health issues later on in life.

“Avoiding sodium rich foods such as bread or cottage cheese is unrealistic, however incorporating low sodium snacks into our daily diet can be a great way to balance your intake and reduce the risk of
high blood pressure.???

Below, Naazneen shares her top three low-sodium snacks that everyone can enjoy.

Salt Awareness Week

Fruits and vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables contain a maximum of 140 milligrams of sodium per 50 grams. They are a great snack choice as they can be eaten on the go and most are portion controlled. In addition, they
contain loads of vitamins and minerals as well as a healthy dose of fibre which is essential for optimum health. Carrots, tomatoes, green beans, potato, apples and bananas are all fantastic snack options.


Salt Awareness Week

Unsalted nuts have extremely low traces of sodium and are a great natural source of vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, and fibre. They also provide monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are great for your health and heart, in moderation. A small handful of boiled nuts, roasted unsalted peanuts, walnuts, almonds or pistachios are great snack options.

Yoghurt or maas

A cup of yoghurt contains approximately 6 percent of your total Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA)*. Maas is also low in sodium and, like yoghurt, is an excellent source of protein, calcium and potassium, and
provides your body with vitamins and minerals. If you are eating yoghurt, try to choose an unsweetened variety as these tend to contain less sugar.

For more helpful tips on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle, visit

Note to editor

*An adult’s Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) consists of:

  • 8400kj energy
  • 90g sugar
  • 70g fat
  • 20g saturated
  • 5g salt