Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

SALT

Facts for a healthy heart

SALT Facts for a healthy heart
SALT Facts for a healthy heart
SALT Facts for a healthy heart

Do you know how much salt you consume as part of your daily diet? You might be surprised to know that it’s not just the salt you add to your meal that is important, it’s also the salt which is ‘contained’ in many every day foods. While most adults are aware of the need to cut down on sugar and saturated fat, many people do not realise that the amount of salt they consume every day could be putting their health at risk. The good news is that once you have all the facts about salt and your health, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your salt intake and improve your long-term health. Read on to find out how to reduce your salt intake.

Salt and your heart

Too much salt can cause high blood pressure which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD). It’s important for you and your family to try to eat only the recommended amount of salt.This could help you to keep your heart healthy.

Salt in foods

The reason why many people’s daily intake of salt is too high is because they are not aware of the salt contained in lots of foods. Processed foods such as canned soups, takeaways, and ready-prepared meals are prime culprits for containing high levels of salt. A staggering 75% of a person’s dietary salt intake comes from processed foods alone.

dietary salt intake comes from processed foods alone. When you are shopping in the supermarket or
dietary salt intake comes from processed foods alone. When you are shopping in the supermarket or

When you are shopping in the supermarket or local shop, watch out for foods such as crisps, nuts, canned soups, baked beans, pork pies and pizzas that typically contain a lot of salt. Also be aware that some staple foods such as bread and some cereals have added salt. Ideally, you should try to have a balanced diet containing fresh fruit, vegetables, starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta and rice and less fat (especially saturates), salt and sugar.

How much is too much? Health experts recommend that adults should consume less than 6g
How much is too much? Health experts recommend that adults should consume less than 6g

How much is too much?

Health experts recommend that adults should consume less than 6g of salt a day. To give you a clearer idea, one level teaspoon contains 6g of salt. If you think you may be consuming too much salt, you are not alone. Currently, the average daily intake of salt by adults in the UK is far too high – with many people consuming over 9g of salt each day.

Always read the label…

Regularly checking the nutrition information on food labels can help you to choose healthier options for your diet. Salt often appears as sodium on food labels (6g of salt is equivalent to 2.5g of sodium). All products will say how much sodium they contain on the label – so make sure you check before you buy!

For pre-prepared foods, look at the ‘amount per serving’. For snacks such as crisps or nuts check the ‘per 100g’ information.

A lot or a little per 100g?

A LOT 1.25g of salt or more 0.5g sodium or more

A LITTLE 0.25g of salt 0.1g of sodium

Pass the salt

Adding salt to your food while you’re cooking or at the table may seem like a hard habit to break. If you find this difficult, you could try adding some mixed herbs or spices to give your food more flavour.Your taste buds adapt surprisingly quickly to dietary changes. Within a month you won’t be able to notice the difference.

The salt reduction plan

Here are some easy ways to reduce your salt intake:

Try adding less salt to your cooking (e.g. when boiling vegetables, making casseroles, pasta sauces etc) – as you get used to the taste, cut it out completely.

Avoid adding salt to your meal at the table – taste it first and try adding herbs instead if you wish.

For more information on how to keep your heart healthy log on to the British Heart Foundation’s website bhf.org.uk

Watch out for salty snacks such as crisps and nuts and highly salted foods such as bacon, cheese, and other processed foods such as ready meals and takeaways.

Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables. Aim for at least five portions a day.

Watch out for cooking sauces (especially soy sauce) as some of these are very high in salt.

Celebrity cooking tips

Presenter of the BBC’s Ready, Steady, Cook, Ainsley Harriott backed the campaign and said: ”Cutting down on salt gradually is the easiest way to con your palate! If you lower the amount of salt each time you cook you’ll soon find you’ll need less and less to make it just as tasty”.

Kevin Woodford TV Chef, added: ”By using herbs and spices creatively and adding flavours like garlic, ginger or lemon grass, you can very easily achieve great tasting healthy dishes without adding lots of salt. With a bit of experimentation and flair, you can drastically cut your salt without even noticing that you’re doing so!”.

Gloria Hunniford says "Having personal experiences of heart disease within the family has made both Stephen and me aware of the danger of consuming too much salt. We make sure we don't add any extra salt when cooking but use a variety of herbs and spices instead to give food extra flavour."

don't add any extra salt when cooking but use a variety of herbs and spices instead

Get cooking…

Why not try out this tasty low salt recipe…

Root vegetable curry

Serve this flavourful mixed root vegetable curry with boiled rice, or try serving it with hot fluffy couscous instead. Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 55 minutes

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 fresh green chilli, seeded & finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2.5cm (1in) piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped

2

tablespoons plain flour

2

teaspoons EACH ground coriander, ground cumin &

turmeric 300ml (1/2 pint) water 200ml (7fl oz) passata 750g (1lb 10oz) mixed root vegetables such as sweet

potato, swede & celeriac, peeled & diced

2 carrots, thinly sliced

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh coriander, to garnish

1 Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion, chilli, garlic and ginger and sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in flour and ground spices; cook gently for 1 minute, stirring.

2 Gradually stir in water, then add passata, diced root vegetables and carrots. Season with black pepper; mix well.

3 Bring to boil, stirring, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked and tender, stirring occasionally.

4 Serve on warmed plates or in bowls; garnish with chopped coriander.

warmed plates or in bowls; garnish with chopped coriander. Cooking tips Wash your hands thoroughly after

Cooking tips

Wash your hands thoroughly after handling fresh chillies as they contain oils that may irritate skin and eyes.

Banish the salt pot from your table, you'll be surprised how quickly your tastebuds adapt.

Use spices and herbs to flavour foods rather than salt. This works well with staples such as potatoes, pasta, rice and couscous.

Citrus fruits such as lemon and limes can add a zesty kick to fish, chicken and pork. Use them as a marinade with olive oil and garlic or simply squeeze over their juices.

Don't throw away your salt-free vegetable cooking liquid. Use it for gravies, soups, stews and sauces for a salt-free stock.

British Heart Foundation

14 Fitzhardinge Street London W1H 6DH Phone: 020 7935 0185 Fax: 020 7486 5820 Website: bhf.org.uk

Heart Information Line 08450 70 80 70 (a local rate number)

An information service for the public and health professionals on issues relating to heart health

G160 09/2005

Food Standards Agency salt website: salt.gov.uk

© British Heart Foundation 2005. Registered Charity Number 225971