UCL Occupational Health Services: Salt Awareness Week 10-16 March 2014

5 March 2014

National Salt Awareness Week aims to give the lowdown on salt intake with this year the focus of the campaign on salt reduction - "less salt please".

Salt is the major factor that raises blood pressure and high blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for stroke. Reducing average salt intake by just 1g/day can prevent at least 2,600 deaths from stroke every year. It is also widely recognised, a high salt diet is linked to other conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer of the stomach and kidney disease. Each year the awareness week works with great charities like the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK  to raise awareness.

World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) operates globally to improve the health of populations which include working with Governments and multinational food companies in order to reduce the amount of salt in processed foods as well as salt added to cooking.

How much salt do we eat?

Around 75% of the salt we eat has already been added to our foods before we even buy it.

How much salt is too much?

Adults should eat no more than 6 grams a day which equates to one teaspoon; this includes salt that is already in food products such as bread and cereals.

Start now and try adding less salt when cooking and don’t add salt to food and at the table. When choosing foods in shops and supermarkets look at the salt content on the label before you buy.

Salt Food Labelling Guide

High is more than 1.5g salt per 100g(0.6mg sodium)

Low is 0.3g salt or less per 100g(or 0.1g sodium)

To find out which foods have a high salt content go to NHS Choices Salt Facts

Further Information

British Heart Foundation

Blood Pressure UK

Stroke Association

Cancer Research UK

Elaine Fletcher, Occupational Health Services, UCL Human Resources