How Much Salt: Too Much or Not Enough?

How Much Salt: Too Much or Not Enough?

You’ve probably heard that you should eat no more than 6 grams of salt per day. But did you know that adults in England consume an average of 8.4 grams a day – that’s 40% more than the national guideline.

In this blog post, you will learn:

👉🏼 How much salt should we have in our diets?

👉🏼 Common foods with hidden salt

👉🏼 Do you need to have some salt in your diet?

👉🏼 Tips to reduce your salt consumption

👉🏼 My top tip when reading labels

 

Are you worried about your salt consumption? Are you looking to optimise your diet and transform your health? Head to Consultations to see how I can help you start your journey to the healthiest version of yourself today!

How much salt should we have in our diets?

We do need some salt in our diet but most of us are eating much more than we need. Consuming too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The UK guidelines state that adults should have a maximum of 6 grams of salt per day, which is about one level teaspoon. It can be very easy to accidentally go over this limit, particularly if we eat lots of pre-packaged foods like ready meals, sandwiches, breakfast cereals.

 

Many common foods have hidden or unusually high levels of salt

These include:

  • Processed meats such as salami, bacon and sausages
  • Restaurants, fast-food and takeaways 
  • Salty snacks, such as crisps, chips, crackers and salted nuts

 

Do you need to have some salt in your diet?

While it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers of having too much salt, it’s also worth noting that everyone needs a little bit of salt in their diet to function optimally.

Salt contains an essential nutrient called sodium, which helps with fluid balance, nerve health, muscle function and nutrient absorption. 

 

Tips to reduce your salt consumption: 

  1. Take advantage of delicious herbs and spices to add flavour to your food, instead of salt, such as black pepper, garlic, chilli, thyme and paprika. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can be a good replacement to added salt. 
  2. Avoid using too many sauces that can often contain a lot of salt, such as soy sauce, ketchup, gravy and mustard.
  3. Get in the habit of reading ingredient labels and check the salt content on the back of the pack. 
  4. Swap salted nuts from unsalted nuts, swap other salty snacks for fresh fruit and vegetables. 

 

Read labels and consider portion size

Check the recommended serving size and be realistic about whether you are likely to exceed the standard portion.

Be honest with yourself. For example if you like to slather an overly generous amount of salty peanut butter on your toast – then decide whether you will reduce your portion size, or switch to a peanut butter made from 100% peanuts with no added salt!

Similarly, if you enjoy a big bowl of cereal (which probably exceeds to recommended serving size), will you reduce your portion, swap to a lower-sugar cereal or perhaps swap to a bowl of porridge with berries?

 

It’s important to note that if you’re doing regular exercise, or sweating from being in hot weather or saunas, you will require more salt than others. I take a personalised approach with all of my 1:1 clients and tailor each nutrition plan to their unique needs and goals.

If you’re looking to optimise your nutrition, transform your health and elevate your quality of life, please get in contact via Consultations or book a FREE 15-minute call and let’s chat about how I can help.  

 

Did you find this post useful? If so please share it with others! For more nutrition tips and healthy recipes, check out my Instagram @elibrechernutrition

Check out my other nutrition-related blog posts below:

 

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