Smart Shopping: Checking Salt Content

The more processed foods and takeaways you eat, the higher your salt intake is bound to be.  This is because salt is cheap to produce, so food manufacturers commonly use it as a preservative & flavouring agent. However, too much salt can be dangerous to your health.  This week, we are continuing on our ‘Smart Shopping’ theme, and explaining why excess salt is a bad thing and how you can identify salt content on a food label in order to choose the healthiest options.

Sodium is a mineral found in salt (the chemical name of salt is sodium chloride).  It is a mineral that is also found in animal and plant foods and even water – it is imperative for proper nerve and muscle function and plays an important role in maintaining correct fluid balance.  We get sufficient amounts of sodium naturally without adding salt to our meals.  However, as mentioned, it is liberally used in processed / commercially prepared foods and this contributes to a build-up in the body.  An abundance of sodium in our system may cause excessive fluid retention, which increases the risk of developing high blood pressure.  There is also believed to be a link between high salt intake and stomach cancer.

Take the salt shaker off the table!  There is plenty of sodium in our foods naturally.

Take the salt shaker off the table! There is plenty of sodium in our foods naturally.

Firstly, check the list of ingredients.  You will find that ‘salt’ may be disguised as other names:  basically, any ingredient that contains the word ‘sodium’ is salt as is monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking powder and yeast extracts.

Now it’s time to check is the actual salt content.  To determine the amount of salt in a food, look at the ‘Nutritional Information’ label and find the ‘sodium’ figure that appears in the per 100g column.   This figure should be 200mg or less (which is pretty low, you will be surprised how much salt is in food once you start checking!).  For example, did you know that the total sodium per 100 ml in ‘Heinz Tomato Ketchup’ is 110mg!  EEK!  It is recommended that a healthy adult have only 2500mg of sodium per day and those with kidney disease or high blood pressure only around 1000mg.  One teaspoon of table salt contains about 2000mg of sodium, so there really is NO need to add salt to your meals as you get plenty with a balanced diet.

I hope that our blog series about ‘Smart Shopping’ has helped make you more conscious about the food choices you make when you are at the supermarket.  Our program is focused on giving you, our valuable client, great ‘life’ skills – such as ‘smart shopping’ tips –  throughout your weight loss journey, so once you achieve your goal weight, you know exactly how to maintain your new body successfully.

Book a FREE appointment with one of our caring consultants on 1300 SLIMMER (754663) OR Visit our website:  www.thenaturalway.com.au

About Lose Weight With Sue

I am a naturopath for The Natural Way. We have 24 clinics nationally that help people to lose weight & educate on how to keep it off.
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