This week is World Salt Awareness Week, so it’s the perfect time to think about how much salt you and your family are eating. The recommended daily maximum salt intake is 5g – which is about a teaspoon. Scarily, most Australians are eating around 9g, which is nearly DOUBLE that recommendation! So it makes sense that this year the theme for Salt Awareness Week is ‘5 ways to 5 grams’. These 5 super simple tips will help you and your family reduce your salt and reduce your risk of heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke.
1. EAT FRESH
The best way to reduce your salt intake is to eat as much fresh food as possible – especially fruit and vegetables. These are naturally low in salt as well as being packed full of vitamins and minerals. HOT TIP – if you are using canned veggies or beans, drain and give them a rinse before using. This will wash off the salty brine they are often canned in.
2. Gradually ADD LESS SALT and let your tastebuds adapt
Did you know that your tastebuds only take a few weeks to adapt? So, if you reduce the amount of salt you add to your foods SLOWLY, chances are your tastebuds won’t even notice the difference after a while. In fact, once your tastebuds have adapted, some foods might even start to taste too salty!
3. Try SALTERNATIVES (alternatives to salt)
If you think food will taste bland without salt, think again! There are so many different herbs and spices that can add a flavour punch to your foods. You can add them during cooking or even at the table as a garnish. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out our salternative cheat sheets.
4. SHAKE THE HABIT
Children develop a taste for salt at a young age, so it’s really important to start good habits early. Children need even less salt than adults, so it can be so easy for them to go way over their recommended daily maximum without knowing. Try taking salt (and salty sauces) off the table so your kids learn not to add it to meals.
5. READ THE LABEL
75% of the salt we consume is hidden in packaged and processed foods. And you might be surprised to find out that many foods that are full of salt don’t even taste salty! That’s why it’s so important to read the label. Salt is listed as sodium on the Nutrition Information Panel. The best options have <120mg of sodium per 100g and ok options have <400mg sodium per 100g. Check out our handy label reading wallet card here.