22 March 2011

Salt: the slow, silent killer

Did you know that South Africans eat almost double the recommended daily intake of salt, and men are even worse offenders by eating over 2g more salt a day than women?

Many South Africans are not aware of the dangers of a high-salt diet and many don’t realise how much salt they are eating. In most developed countries about 80% of salt consumed is added to foods at the stage of manufacturing and consumers have no say over how much is added.

This year World Salt Awareness week focuses on Salt and Men’s Health. 

  • Getting out of the habit of using the salt shaker or salty flavour enhancers at the table
  • Using less table salt, stock cubes, soup/gravy powders or sauces for cooking 
  • Choosing better alternatives to make foods tastier (fresh herbs, spices, garlic, chilli, lemon juice or ground pepper)
  • Checking product labels when purchasing processed foods and
    • Opting for LOW salt products more often:120 mg sodium per 100 g or less
    • Avoiding HIGH salt foods: 500 mg sodium per 100 g or more
  • Eating home-cooked meals rather than readymade meals, takeaways and processed foods when possible
  • Swapping high-salt foods such as sausages and pies for lean meat or fish
  • Cutting down on foods that are cured, smoked or pickled as they tend to be high in salt
  • Keeping healthier snacks on hand, such as fruit or unsalted nuts


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