It is beyond medical doubt that there is a relationship between an excess Salt intake and high blood pressure (associated with cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, strokes), stomach cancer, osteoporosis, kidney disease and cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s).
Adults should consume no more than 6 grams of Salt a day (2.4 grams Sodium) = approximately 1 teaspoon. The average N.Z. daily intake is in fact 9 grams of Salt (3.6 grams Sodium) = approximately 1.5 teaspoons.
Salt is sodium chloride (NaCl) and includes only 40% Sodium. Chemically Salt and Sodium are not one in the same and the names are not interchangeable.
Some prepared food labelling only describes the Sodium content therefore don't confuse Salt and Sodium numbers! To convert Sodium to Salt, multiply the Sodium amount by 2.5. For example, 1 gram of Sodium is equivalent to 2.5 grams of Salt.
75% of daily Salt intake comes via natural and processed foods.
Two examples of New Zealand food products which only describe the product’s Sodium content;
Tortellini in sauce 350g single serve pouch pack:
Sodium 1100mg (2750mg Salt = 2.75 grams = slightly less than half a teaspoon)
Baked Beans 420g can:
Sodium 1000mg (2500mg Salt = 2.50 grams = 40% of a teaspoon)
A baguette bread stick will contain approximately 6 – 7 grams of salt.
An excellent feature article entitled “Halt your Salt” by Jennifer Bowden appeared in the New Zealand Listener issue dated January 18-24 2020.