Heavens to Betsy! Whoever knew that there was such a thing as World Salt Awareness Week (29th Feb – 6th March).
Our bodies only really need a little bit of salt to survive. If we eat too much salt then we run the risk of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the major cause of heart disease and strokes.
Apparently we only need 1 gram (a pinch) of salt a day to function properly. But mostly we eat around 7 – 10 grams per day.
In actual fact, we should aim to eat no more than 5 grams of salt per day. This is about a teaspoon.
I know what you’re thinking… but I never even have a quarter of that much salt on my food.
The thing is – about 75% of the salt we eat gets added to our food without us even realising it. Half the time you can’t even taste it. But it’s there! Just like sugar, salt gets sneakily added into our food. Things like ham, bacon, processed foods, breakfast cereals, bread, cheese and sauces all contain salt.
Unless you read the labels – you will never know exactly how much salt you are consuming without even knowing.
And… if you think that fancy salt is less salty – think again.
According to the experts – salt is salt – no matter what colour it is or how big the crystals are. It has the same effect as normal old table salt.
If you are used to eating lots of salt, and you need to cut down, then you might worry that your food will taste horrible and bland. Blah!
But this does not have to be the case… you can use herbs – both fresh and dried, black pepper, lemon and chilli to enhance your food and make it tastier. Apparently, after about three weeks, your taste buds start getting more sensitive again and you will be able to taste the smaller amounts of salt.
Ahhhh… I hear you say – but I’m healthy and don’t have high blood pressure so I don’t need to worry.
Hmmmm… sorry for you but you do!
Many people who end up with high blood pressure start out with normal blood pressure and work their way up to high blood pressure by eating too much salt (amongst other things).
So! Start today – eat less salt. (And that goes for us kids too.)
PS… Salt is comprised of sodium and chloride. Most labels give both sodium and salt. If only sodium is given, multiply the number by 2.5 to get the figure for salt.