We are all aware that too much salt is bad for our hearts. But in order to cut down you need to understand how much salt is in what food. Between 65% and 70% of our salt intake comes from processed food, fast food and restaurant food. So not only do you need to cut down on the amount of food you add to your food, you need to cut down on processed foods. By understanding nutrition labels you will be able to determine how much salt is in the food you buy and reduce your salt intake.
Look at the food label
These labels can be confusing and when it comes to salt they are even more complicated as they list the amount of sodium, rather that the salt. To work out how much salt is in the food, multiply the sodium figure by 2.5. So if the label says there is one gram of sodium per 100g that means that there are 2.5 grams of salt per 100g. So simply, salt =sodium x 2.5
No more than 6 grams of salt a day
Salt is an essential part of a healthy diet so you should be having about 4 grams a day. However you should be having no more than 6 grams or 1 teaspoon every day. That includes the salt in processed foot as well as the salt you add yourself.
Compare food labels
When choosing which foods you buy make sure to compare the labels and opt for the food with the lowest salt content.
Use these measure as a guide to foods that are high and low in salt.
High in salt
Low in salt
0.5g sodium or more
0.1g sodium or less
1.5g salt or more
0.5g salt or less
Between 0.5g and 1.5g of salt (or between 0.1g and 0.5g of sodium) per 100g is a moderate amount of salt. Try choosing foods that have less salt than this if you can or better yet, choose foods with no added salt.