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Research shows that on average Brits believe they consume roughly around 3.2g of salt per day, compared to government findings which in fact show we are consuming on average around 8g per day, which means almost a third of Brits are completely oblivious to not only how much salt they are consuming and also the dangers of eating a diet high in salt. TV doctor Sarah Jarvis has shone a light on what happens within the body when one has a diet of too much salt.
Dr Sarah’s top tips and advice is to try and avoid seasoning and adding salt to food at home and instead opting for different herbs and spices, cutting down on processed food and keeping it to a minimum and not being duped into thinking posh gourmet sea and rock salts are better for our health.
Dr Sarah said: “The recent research showing how much more salt people are actually eating daily worries me greatly because in the UK we are still eating far too much salt.
"Excess salt raises our blood pressure and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease, which are still two of the biggest killers in this country.
"However, with a few small changes and swaps here and there, you can make a big difference to your health by bringing your salt intake down.”
When asked why one should be more aware of how much salt is in their diet, Dr Sarah said: “Public Health England advises that excess dietary salt is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for high blood pressure.
"High blood pressure affects one in four adults and is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.
"It’s known as the silent killer because it often has no symptoms, so you may not even know you have it.
How is salt linked to high blood pressure?
All salt, whether its table salt, rock salt, sea salt or pink Himalayan rock salt, is 100 percent sodium chloride and it’s sodium which is linked to high blood pressure.
Dr Jarvis explained: "When we eat salt, or food containing salt, it’s the sodium which makes your body retain water and that is a big factor in increasing your blood pressure.
Dr Sarah’s top tips for helping you reduce your salt intake include:
- Avoid seasoning and adding salt at home. Try using herbs, spices and lemon juice instead. Weaning yourself off salt takes some getting used to, but your palate will adjust
- If you can’t go without salt, then you are better to use a reduced sodium salt like LoSalt instead, which contains 66 percent less sodium than regular salts. It’s the sodium in salt which is linked to high blood pressure
- Try to cut down on processed foods as this is where the majority of salt in our diets come from. Ready meals, readymade sauces and soups are often high in salt
- Keep processed meats to a minimum. Bacon, ham and sausages contain a lot of salt