- NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
- KNOW YOUR SERVING
- BODY SMART
- MEAL PLANNING
- TIPS & TRICKS
- UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
Too much salt is bad for you
- Your body needs only a small amount of salt to be healthy.
- Eating more salt than you need can be unhealthy as it can increase your blood pressure.
- High blood pressure can cause heart disease and strokes.
- High blood pressure and heart disease develops over many years.
- Many people don’t know they have high blood pressure as one cannot feel it.
- Your blood pressure should be checked yearly.
- You can keep your body healthy by starting to use less salt today.
How much salt is too much?
- You should eat no more than 5 g of salt per day.
- 5 g is the same as one teaspoon of salt.
- This 5 g includes the salt that you add to your food as well as salt already found in foods.
Where do I get salt from?
- Many foods that you buy already have salt in them and this is called hidden salt. Often these foods don’t look or taste salty.
- Examples of foods with a lot of hidden salt include
- Bread and breakfast cereals
- Sausages and other processed meats
- Stock, soup and gravy powders
- Hard brick margarine
- The table at the back shows other foods high in salt.
- We add more salt to our food when we cook and at the table.
Do I eat too much salt?
- Many South Africans eat too much salt. In fact we eat twice the amount of salt we should!
- It can be very easy to eat too much salt when eating normal everyday foods.
- Half of the salt we eat is from salt added by manufacturers during the processing of foods.
- The other half of the salt we eat comes from salt we add during cooking and salt sprinkled on at the table.
What is Sodium
- Salt is made up of two parts ̶ Sodium and Chloride.
- Sodium is the part of salt that can increase your blood pressure when you eat too much of it.
- 5 g of salt is the same as 2000 mg of sodium.
How to choose less salty foods
1. Learn how much salt is in food
- Look on the ingredient list for these words:
– Salt or any ingredient that contains the word “sodium”
– MSG, baking soda or baking powder
- If any of these words are in the first 3 ingredients on the food label of a food, it is likely to be high in salt.
- The Nutritional Information Table on some food packets also tells us how much sodium is in food.
- Use the simple table below to help you compare how much sodium is in 100 g of different foods:
2. Look for the Heart Mark logo
- Foods with this logo on are healthier choices and lower in salt than similar products.
3. Use salty foods less often
- Fresh foods have less salt than processed foods.
- Try using more fresh foods and less processed foods.
- Use the table at the back to help you choose foods that are low in salt more often.
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