SIMPLE SWAPS: SALT
Sodium chloride (NaCl) is the chemical formula for salt. In regards to the diet it is the sodium component of salt that can cause high blood pressure.
In the UK it is advised that adults do not consume more than 6g of salt or 2.4g of sodium a day. This equates to approximately 1 teaspoon of salt. Food labels may report salt or sodium and therefore it is important to convert correctly. To convert sodium to salt you need to multiply the figure by 2.5g, 1g of sodium per 100g = 2.5g salt per 100g.
Salt can be used as a preservative, to prolong the shelf life of products and sometimes to enhance the flavour. It is important when shopping to recognise what is a high salt food.
The following can be used as a guideline;
Amount of salt & sodium per 100g/100ml
Foods naturally high in sodium include, smoked, cured and canned fish, meats such as bacon, ham, sausages and anchovies, canned foods such as pastas and beans, salted nuts and snacks such as crisps. Ready meals and processed foods are also high in sodium.
Below I have outlined low sodium/salt options for some common household items.
Be mindful of your salt/sodium intake by consuming unsalted or reduced salt/sodium products. Choose fresh ingredients where possible and avoid highly processed foods. Avoid adding salt while cooking, use other ingredients such as dry spices and fresh herbs to flavour your food.