Salt

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which triples your risk of developing heart disease or stroke. If you have high blood pressure, cutting down on salt could lower your blood pressure after just four weeks.

More on salt

More than 8 out of 10 men and 7 out of ten women eat too much salt. Everyone over the age of 11 should have no more than 6 grammes of salt a day.

How to check your salt intake

You can check labels to see how much salt is in food (it’s always given as an amount per 100 g).

  • High salt is more than 1.5 grammes per 100 g
  • Low salt is 0.3 grammes or less per 100 g

Anything in between is a ‘medium’ level of salt.

Foods with added salt

Some foods are almost always high in salt because of the way they are made – you can still enjoy them, but try to have these in smaller amounts, or eat them less often.

Foods that are often high in salt Foods where some brands/recipes are high in salt
Try to eat smaller amounts of these, or have them less often.
  • Anchovies
  • Bacon
  • Cheese
  • Chips (if salt added)
  • Gravy granules
  • Ham
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Prawns
  • Salami
  • Salted and dry roasted nuts
  • Salt fish
  • Smoked meat and fish
  • Soy sauce
  • Stock cubes
  • Yeast extract
Compare the labels on similar foods and choose the ones lower in salt.
  • Bread products such as crumpets, bagels and ciabatta
  • Pasta sauces
  • Crisps
  • Pizza
  • Ready meals
  • Soup
  • Sandwiches
  • Sausages
  • Tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other sauces

 

 

 

 

Three quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, so checking the label and choosing foods that are lower in salt is one of the best ways to cut down.

On food labels, there should be a figure for salt per 100g.

  • High is more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium)
  • Low is 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium)

For more on checking the label, see our labelling pages.