The most commonly consumed rock in the world features in every single person’s daily diet and can have a fairly important impact on our health. Whether or not you realise it, salt figures in almost every single product we consume in some amount, and although not as dangerous as sugar or fats, overconsumption of it has been linked to a range of problems from heart disease to strokes.
It is currently estimated that the average person eats too much salt, mostly due to its prevalence in our foods, and our own personal general lack of knowledge as to what it is we are putting into our bodies. Our intake can lead to compounding health issues later on life, with salt responsible for raised blood pressure and many of the ailments associated to it. But exactly how much salt should we be having in our diet?
Well if you listen to your physician, the recommended daily amount of salt for an average adult is 6g (about a teaspoon’s worth), and a lot less than that for children. As it currently stands, we can have 75% of our salt intake from everyday products such as bread, breakfast cereal or ready-made meals. However this number can hike up substantially if you pay attention to the nutritional facts listed on the side of your groceries. Sodium chloride, commonly just referred to as sodium on most food stuffs is a type of concentrated salt commonly found in many processed foods.
Due to its’ concentration it is recommended to only consume 2.4g of sodium a day, which is roughly equal to the same amount of normal table salt. When keeping an eye on labels, make sure that there is less than 1.5g of salt (0.6g sodium) per 100g for whatever product you are purchasing. Whilst that might seem like a tall order to remember all the recommended doses and their different names, doctors believe that just by being aware of what the daily intake is and of how much salt is in our foods we will subconsciously make small changes to our diet.
If that doesn’t work, there are a range of reduced salt diets currently available on the market to help you in limiting your total consumption. Furthermore, as people have become more aware of the health risks of overconsumption of certain key ingredients, it is now possible to buy everyday items with reduced levels of salt, fat and sugar.