Salt and Blood Pressure

salt-2It’s World Salt Awareness Week. Monday 29th February to Sunday 6th March.

What is the recommended salt intake? The other name for salt is sodium chloride. You only need a small amount of sodium in your diet for your body to work properly. The National Health and Medical Research Council has set an ‘adequate intake’ of 460-920mg sodium or 1-2 grams salt per day. (6 grams is equal to 1 teaspoon of salt). However most Australians consume too much salt. The average intake in Victoria is 8 grams a day which is over 4 times what the body needs. Consuming too much sodium leads to high blood pressure and has been linked to heart failure, kidney problems, stroke and other health concerns.

An overall guide is:

120mg sodium per 100g = Low Healthiest choice

120mg to 600mg sodium per 100g = Moderate

Over 600mg sodium per 100g = High Avoid these foods

Where does most of the sodium come from? Most of the sodium in our diet comes from the foods we buy off the supermarket shelves (processed foods) with a small amount added during the cooking phase. On nutritional information panels salt is listed as sodium. Some examples of high salt processed foods are:



Bacon, ham, salamis, processed meats

Sauces, soy sauce, Asian sauces

Snack foods, chips, nuts, crackers,

Take away food, chips, pizza, curries.

Canned soups or vegetables

How can I reduce my salt intake without loosing taste?

Reduce salt slowly give your tastebuds time to adjust.

Replace salt with other taste boosters such as fresh herbs, spices, ginger, garlic, lemon, chilli.

No need to add salt to recipes that contain salty ingredients like stock, sauces, capers, anchovies, salmon.

Eat fresh, unprocessed foods including fruits and vegetables

Salt and Blood Pressure. Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and effects the delicate balance, reducing the ability of the kidneys to remove the water. The result is a higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and strain on the delicate blood vessels. The damage to the arteries walls and the increase in blood pressure can have serious effects upon our vital organs and lead to serious chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Check your RISK for cardiovascular disease and stroke here

Christine Boucher. Health & Wellness Coach. Registered Cardiac Nurse


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