A pinch of salt?
Did you know that there is an official, international week dedicated to salt? World Salt Awareness Week 2019 runs from the 4th to the 11th of March and while this may sound like a fun, novel topic, there are international groups like WASH (World Action on Salt and Health) that advocate and campaign for the use of less salt. Let’s have a closer look at this seemingly innocent mineral.
Everyone will agree that a sprinkle of salt transforms any dish from bland to tasty, but too much salt in one’s diet leads to high blood pressure which in turn makes us more susceptible to strokes and heart disease. The World Health Organisation recommends a daily intake of less than 5g – that’s less than 1 teaspoon of salt per day! If you currently add less than 1 teaspoon of salt to all your daily meals, you still need to watch out as most salt is already present in foods such as bread, cereals, ready-made meals, restaurant meals and canteen meals. Sushi lovers beware; soy sauce is notoriously high in salt and should be consumed sparingly.
WASH encourages action from many forums and you too can take action:
- Governments must prioritise the health of their nations and commit to stronger action on salt;
- The food industry must commit to further salt reduction work, with guidance from policy makers;
- Health charities and non-governmental organisations must take ACTION – keep talking about amount of salt in our food and the need for healthier environments to enable healthier choices;
Individuals must take ACTION – write to companies to ask for less salt in food, write to government representatives to demand a strong salt reduction strategy, share personal salt reduction strategies on social media, encourage friends and family members to add less salt to food and to choose the lower salt option.