This week, February 29th-March 6th, it’s Salt awareness week, a campaign promoted by World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) to raise awareness about the importance of eating less salt.
Salt is important for many biological functions of our body. However, consuming too much salt can cause high blood pressure and promote different diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and stomach cancer. A recent study also linked childhood salt intake to obesity.
How much salt should we eat?
According to the World Health Organization, adults should eat no more than 5 grams of salt per day (about a tea spoon). Unfortunately, many people consume almost twice the recommended maximum level!!
Salt in our food
Salt is present in different food items such as cheese, olives, meats, fish, condiments like soy sauce, but it’s also added in large amount in processed food like salty snacks, processed meat, sauces, pre-made meals, breakfast cereals, bread. We also tend to add salt when preparing our food by using salt or bouillon cubes, soy or fish sauce.
How can we reduce salt intake?
- Cooking food from scratch is a great first step to keep an eye on salt intake. When preparing your meals, add more flavor by using herbs and spices rather than adding salt (table salt, bouillon cubes, soy or fish sauce). Once you get used to, you’ll appreciate better the taste of what you’re eating.
- Do not put on the table the salt shaker or the soy sauce.
- Limit consumption of processed foods.
- When buying food, read the labels carefully and choose the low-sodium options. Note: 1 gram of salt contains almost 400 mg of sodium, the maximum salt intake is 5g/day which means no more than 2,000 mg of sodium per day!!
Some people argue that food is not tasty if it’s not salty. Well, that’s actually not true. Your taste buds can adjust to eat less salt, and once you get used to it, you will appreciate a broader range of flavors 😉