Mar 28, 2011

"World Salt Awareness Week"

Salt has its own week: who knew?

World Action on Salt & Health (WASH), whose mission is to improve world health by achieving a gradual reduction in salt intake, designated March 21-27 as the week's official 2011 dates. But even though the week has just ended, the need to be careful with salt will not.

We all know that too much salt isn’t good for you, even if you don't suffer from hypertension.

You probably know the obvious too-salted culprits: processed foods, lots of canned products, etc. But salt is hidden in ways many of us don’t realize. I recently watched a few 1.5-minute “shocker” videos about hidden salt in food and had some unpleasant surprises, the chief one being how salt-laden low-fat cottage cheese is; if you have a 1-cup serving of the stuff, you'll down half a day's suggested daily sodium intake. The videos were produced by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and you can find them here. Other topics include salt in lunch meat, canned veggies, and ketchup.

But back to WASH, which has some informative leaflets you can download:
  • Salt and your health includes information on the health implications of eating too much salt, a list of foods that are high and low in salt, and simple steps to reduce salt in your diet. View salt and health leaflet
  • Salt and Eating Out Consumer Guide - includes information on long term health implications of eating too much salt, salt in food that we eat and cook at home, salt and eating out and top tips for eating out. View the Consumer Guide 
  • Salt intake and the health of your children - includes information on the long term health implications of eating too much salt, recommended maximum intakes and practical advice on reducing salt intake. View children's leaflet 
  • The importance of cutting salt as you grow older - describes why it is especially important to cut salt intake as you get older as this will immediately cut the risk of stroke and heart attack. View salt and older people leaflet

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