Lifestyle

Less salt good for diet

On average an Australian adult should consume no more than a teaspoon of salt a day.
On average an Australian adult should consume no more than a teaspoon of salt a day. Contributed

LOWERING your salt intake can help to get your body back on track, according to Hervey Bay dietician Peter St Henry, who said a diet rich in salt could lead to hypertension.

Sodium chloride or salt as it's commonly known, is found in most foods and is often overlooked when it comes to dietary intake.

On average an Australian adult should consume no more than 2300mg of salt a day, which equates to about a teaspoon of salt.

Mr St Henry, of Health Divine, said consuming too much salt could lead to a wide range of illnesses, and had the potential to cause osteoporosis.

"A diet high in salt causes your body to leech calcium from its stores," Mr St Henry said.

"So reducing your salt intake will really help your body and your bones."

Consuming too much salt can also lead to a number of major health problems, according to the Australian division of the World Action on Salt and Health organisation.

Excess salt consumed over a long period of time can often cause blood pressure to rise with age, and could potentially increase a person's chance of having a stroke or heart attack.

Other salt-related illnesses can include stomach cancer, kidney disease, obesity, kidney stones and Meniere's disease.

People only needed a small amount of salt in their diet to be healthy, Mr St Henry said.

"Sodium appears naturally in foods like seafood, meat, dairy, eggs and some vegetables," he said.

"But people need to avoid overly processed foods as they often have a very high level of sodium chloride (salt) in them.

"Things like potato chips, cereals, breads and even canned foods often have quite a large amount of salt in them.

"So people should really keep an eye on what they are eating."

Mr St Henry said there was no better time for people to check their salt intake than this week for World Salt Awareness Week.

"It's the perfect time to have a look at what you're eating and reduce your salt intake."

For more information about reducing your salt intake visit awash.org.au.

Pinch the salt from your diet

  • Increase your consumption of fresh produce, like fruit and vegetables;
  • Reduce your reliance of processed foods;
  • Look for foods with low, reduced, or no added salt options.

Topics:  healthy eating, salt


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