In fact the simple message is that the overwhelming majority of us don't need to take in any extra salt to be healthy. So we should cook without salt, and not add salt to the food we eat.
In fact we get all the salt we need from bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.
Taking in too much salt causes raised blood pressure, and about 30% of the population of the UK have blood pressure which is too high. You might have it, but not know it since it carries no natural symptoms, except that you are much more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
The food listed below is almost always high in salt. To reduce your salt intake you can cut down on these. But you can also stop adding salt to anything you eat.
However remember the watch word of this web site. If you try and make major changes to your lifestyle or diet all at once, the chances are you won't be able to maintain the changes. You will have a "bad day" or simply a craving for a food, and then the whole process of changing your diet and exercise will be lost.
If you eat a number of these items on a regular basis, then draw up a schedule and cut down on one of them just a little bit each day - or cut down several of them each week if that is easier.
Remember you only have to cut down a little bit each day. Nothing more.
Here's the high salt list...
- gravy granules
- salted and dry roasted nuts
- salt fish
- smoked meat and fish
- soy sauce
- stock cubes
- yeast extract
Now just in case you are feeling rather good in that although you eat some of these items, you only eat them occasionally, the sad fact is that some foods have a level of salt that can vary enormously between brands.
If you are eating a lot of the foods above don't even start thinking about these foods - just start reducing your intake of the foods above a little at a time. But if you are fairly clear of the foods in the list above but you are a heavy intaker of the foods below, you should start thinking about reducing your intake just a little.
- bread products such as crumpets, bagels and ciabatta
- pasta sauces
- ready meals
- tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other sauces
- some breakfast cereals