Salt is often used to add flavour to food but we actually only need a small amount to stay healthy. It helps conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and helps maintain the correct balance of water and minerals.
However, when you consume too much salt, you put yourself at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
During World Salt Awareness Week (12 to 18 March), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa (HSFSA) is highlighting five simple changes you can make to reduce your salt consumption to 5g per day, and potentially preventing 1.65 million deaths worldwide from cardiovascular disease every year.
1. Cut down gradually.
2. Flavour your meals without salt.
3. Always check food labels to make sure you know how much salt is in a product.
4. Remove the salt shaker from the table to prevent younger family members from making it a habit to add salt to food.
5. Eat more fruit and vegetables.
Professor Pamela Naidoo, CEO of the HSFSA says, “Healthy eating habits should be reinforced at an early age, during the period that babies and young children are developing their sense of taste and food preferences. Adults who are influencing the eating habits of young children, therefore, have the responsibility to ensure low-salt meals are prepared or purchased.”