Salt is well-known as a contributing factor to high blood pressure and heart disease, but new research has highlighted its effects on obesity.
Obesity has turned in a worldwide epidemic responsible for many health conditions. In 2014, the World Health Organisation reported that 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight, and of these adults, over 600 million were obese.
What is a high-salt diet
A high-salt diet is one that includes more than the recommended daily intake of salt. Current recommended levels are no more than 6g a day for adults, but it is thought most people regularly consume more than that.
Salt is often listed as sodium on packaging; this is tricky because sodium levels are recorded in a different way. To understand the correct salt level it's important to times the sodium level by 2.5.
Maximum recommended salt levels are:
Babies 1-3 years = 2g a day (0.8g sodium)
Children 4-6 years = 3g a day (1.2 sodium)
Older Children 7-10 years = 5g of salt a day (2g of sodium)
11+ years = 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium)
Adults = 6g of salt a day (2.4g of sodium)
Research shows that people regularly consume more salt than is recommended, often despite not adding any to their meals from a saltshaker.
Foods that contain high levels of salt include bacon, anchovies, cheese, gravy granules, ham, soy sauce, stock cubes and yeast. Perhaps surprisingly, other foods such as soups, bread, crumpets, pasta sauce and breakfast cereals can also be high in salt.