You may know that a little bit of salt is needed to ensure good health. Salt can help control the amount of blood and tissue fluids circulating around the body, can help carry nutrients into and out of your cells and can increase the glial cells in your brain, which are responsible for creative thinking and long-term planning. What you may not know is that the majority of people are consuming way too much salt.
When you consume too much salt, any good you are doing for your body is completely undone and instead of salt having a positive effect on your health, it can be extremely damaging. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, osteoporosis, obesity, stomach cancer, kidney stones and stroke.
The recommended level of salt each day is between 460-920mg for adults and no more than 120mg for infants. Instead, the average Australian consumes about 9 grams of salt every day, according to the Heart Foundation.
To scale down your level of salt intake, it’s important to read labels and know where salt hides. You may be surprised by what you find.
Salty foods that will shock
Some highly processed cereals can pack a strong sodium punch, despite not tasting salty. Cereals you may consider healthy such as bran and sultana varieties can contain 785mg of sodium per 100g. Even Kellogg’s Special K Forest Berries contains 410mg per 45g serving.
A healthier option: Try Woolworths Great Start Berry, with just 100mg of salt per serve.
When you tuck in to a croissant, doughnut or muffin, you are most likely aware of the high sugar content. But did you know that these bakery goods also contain high amounts of salt? A muffin can contain as much as 516mg of sodium per 100g, and even bread can be overloaded with salt - meaning your sandwich might not be all that healthy!
A healthier option: Goodness Superfoods Wholegrain Barley Wrap with Don Shaved Leg Ham, Kraft Liveactive Light Cheese Slice and Spring Gully Green Tomato Pickle.
A healthier option: Swap salted nuts for raw varieties
A packet mix soup may be an easy option but did you know that for every 100g, some dry mix soups contain 9469mg of sodium!
Healthier option: Make soups from scratch and refrain from adding salt.
Two Minute Noodles
Instant meals can be terrible for hidden salt, and fast cooking varieties sold with packets of seasoning are some of the worst. Some brands of two-minute chicken noodles contain 1254mg per serve.
Healthier option: Cook plain rice, noodles or pasta and add your own seasoning using herbs and spices.
Marinades and sauces
Bottled sauces and marinades can bulk up the amount of sodium in a meal, and some soy sauces contain 6458 mg per 100ml. Even “low-salt” varieties contain almost one-third of the recommended daily salt intake per serve.
Healthier option: Try reducing the amount of salty sauces used in cooking and make your own marinades.