Reducing your salt intake

Reducing your salt intake

Salt can raise your blood pressure, which can increase your risk of stroke and other health problems. It is recommended to limit our salt intake to maximum 6g per day (1 level teaspoon).

How do I know which foods contain a lot of salt?

Due to recent changes in food labelling legislation, almost all food products now display a ‘traffic light' label to help you make a healthier choice. ‘Traffic light’ colours help you to see, at a glance, if a food has high, medium or low amounts of each of these nutrients in 100g of the food. For foods that don’t yet display the ‘traffic light’ label, here is a handy guide:

Salt

  • Low: 0g – 0.3g
  • Medium: 0.3g – 1.5g
  • High: More than 1.5g

Sodium

  • Low: 0g-0.1g
  • Medium: 0.1g-0.6g
  • High: More than 0.6g

Top tips to reduce salt intake:

  • Eat fresh and cook from scratch as much as possible.
  • Do not add salt to your food. Leave the salt cellar off the table and avoid adding salt to food while cooking.
  • Eat less processed foods as they can contain a lot of salt. Examples: packet or tinned meats – ham, sausages, rashers, smoked products, tinned or packet soups, ready meals, pizzas.
  • Try flavouring your foods using herbs, spices, garlic, and black pepper instead of salt. Over time you will notice that your taste for salt will reduce.
  • Reducing your intake of salty foods: crisps, salted nuts, salted biscuits, cheese, soy sauce and take away meals.
  • Sea salt, rock salt, garlic salt and table salt all have the same sodium content.

High Salt Foods:

  • Processed meats (bacon, ham, sausages)
  • Cheese particularly hard and blue cheeses
  • Smoked or tinned fish
  • Tinned foods (soup, baked beans, vegetables)
  • Crisps, salted or dry roasted peanuts
  • Stock cubes, packet sauces, casserole mixes

Low-Salt Alternatives:

  • Fresh meat
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fresh fish
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables, home-made soup, reduced–salt baked beans
  • Unsalted popcorn, unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Low salt stock cubes, herbs and spices