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World Action on Salt & Health

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Salt Myths

Myth: I don’t add any salt to my food so I know I don’t eat too much
Truth: Up to 80% of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods such as bread, cheese and sauces, so most of us are eating too much salt without even realising. It is unlikely that you eat too little – with so much salt already in everyday items there is little danger of not getting enough to meet your daily need.

Myth: I don’t have high blood pressure so I don’t need to eat less salt
Truth: The risk of disease starts within the healthy range of blood pressure, so most people will benefit from eating less salt. Also blood pressure increases with age, putting us at risk of disease, but with a low salt diet the rise in blood pressure doesn’t occur.

Myth: I only use sea salt and that’s healthier than table salt
Truth: Rock and sea salts are just as high in sodium chloride as table salt so are just as bad for our health, regardless of their healthy image.

Myth: You can tell when a food is salty because it tastes salty
Truth: Some foods that are high in salt don't taste particularly salty. Breakfast cereals, bread, jarred sauces and biscuits & cakes can all contain hidden salt.

Myth: Food with less salt tastes bland
Truth: After 3 weeks of less salt your taste buds will become more sensitive so you get the same flavour from less salt. It is similar to getting used to having tea or coffee without sugar. Stick with it! Furthermore, less salt doesn’t have to mean less flavour.  Instead of salt, try adding herbs, black pepper, chilli, garlic, lemon juice and wine.

Myth: I need more salt because I exercise a lot and ‘sweat it out’  
Truth: You only lose a small amount of salt in sweat, and as we all eat more than we need, most people won’t need to take on any extra. Remember to keep hydrated.

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