Are convenient cooking sauces giving you high blood pressure?

Sometimes it’s too easy to pick up a jar of pasta sauce or a sachet of taco seasoning to throw into our meals when we’re pushed for time. But what a lot of us might not know is that they’re packed with salt and could be causing our family harm.

A recent report by the George Institute for Global Health on 543 cooking sauce products found that most were high in salt, with some brands 100 times worse than others.
Worryingly, around 75% of the salt we eat comes from processed foods like cooking sauces and if we’re getting an overload from this source alone, it begs the question – just how much salt are we eating?

Victorians currently eat on average nearly double the recommended maximum daily intake of 5 grams of salt each day. So, what’s the problem with that you might ask? Well, if we eat too much we increase our chances of high blood pressure and put our hearts and kidneys at risk. Sadly, heart disease is still Australia’s number one killer.
Life is busy and it might be hard not to sigh and despair that salt is just another thing you need to add to life’s long list of worries. But there are some easy ways to unpack the salt in your life and help protect yours and your family’s health.

Firstly, like the report showed, there is a huge variation between brands and products so it is possible to pick a lower sodium (salt) option when you’re strapped for time and need to use a convenience product. You just need to know how to read the label to check for sodium (salt).
Secondly, you don’t need to rate yourself as a serious Masterchef contender to be able to cook from scratch – a few simple ingredients and a stirring arm is all you need a lot of the time. Fresh herbs and spices are excellent #salternatives and packed with nutrients too. Here’s a good cheat sheet and some salt-free recipes too.