Too much salt is a common downfall even when you think you eat healthily. Most Australians consume around 9g of salt each day: that’s nearly double the World Health Organization’s recommended daily maximum of 5g (roughly one teaspoon)!
Where is all this salt coming from?
Three quarters (75%) of the salt you eat comes from processed and packaged foods. This can include foods that don’t even taste salty.
Some of the saltiest culprits include pasta sauces, readymade meals, soy and other Asian style sauces, hams, sausages and other processed meats and canned soups. Even sweet foods such as muffins, cakes, scones and doughnuts can be packed with added salt.
While most foods contain salt (either naturally occurring or added) , fresh foods tend to have far less than processed foods. In fact, the easiest way to cut salt in your diet is to eat more fresh foods, especially delicious fruits and vegetables.
Your diet should also include:
- Wholegrains such as brown rice and wholemeal pasta
- healthy proteins like fish, seafood, beans and legumes and poultry
- dairy foods, preferably low fat
- healthy fats found in nuts, seeds, avocados
- healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil
Making these foods the bulk of your diet means it will tend to be naturally low in salt.
Get cooking and add flavour… Without salt!
Eating more fresh foods does mean starting from scratch and cooking more of your own meals. And giving up on the convenience of processed flavouring powders, sachets and sauces that can be high in salt. Be creative, try out new cuisines and add a flavour boost with ingredients such as herbs and spices. Lemon and lime juice and zest also ramp up the taste of everything from salads to steamed veggies and grilled fish/chicken.
Don’t worry if you’re a seasoning rookie: Unpack the Salt has got you covered! Discover our “salternative flavouring guides here.