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How much salt is enough?

Lady cooking in the kitchen

Did you know?... Most Australians, including children, eat way more salt than we need.

🧂The average adult consumes 1.6 teaspoons (9g) of salt per day but only needs around 1g, with children requiring even less.

🧂Eating salty foods in childhood can produce high blood pressure that progressively worsens with age.

🧂Some salt (sodium) in our diets is essential for good health, but the amount we actually need is very small and can be obtained from our fresh vegetables rather than table salt (sodium chloride).

🧂The sodium in salt is an essential mineral for controlling water levels in the body. It is also needed for nerve and muscle function. However, too much salt can contribute to high blood pressure.

The biggest contributors to salt intake in diets are:

  • Bread

  • Breakfast cereals

  • Canned and packaged foods

  • Processed meats

  • Crackers and chips

  • Flavoured popcorn

  • Bottled sauces

  • Instant noodles

  • Many take-away foods

Where should we get our sodium from?

  • Chicken and meat

  • Vegetables - artichokes, beetroot, broccoli, carrots, turnips, beet greens, celery, chard, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, cabbage, capsicum, cucumber and collard

  • Seaweed – nori, wakame, arame, kelp, sushi

  • Legumes – chickpeas, lentils

So eat less processed foods and eat more fresh vegetables! 🍅🍆🥕🫑🍠🍇🍎🍋🍌🍐

References: Koch MU. Laugh with health. Revised edition, 1993.


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