Cut Back on the Salt
The campaigning group, Consensus Action on Salt and Health, have recently released research which says that some processed food contains the entire recommended daily intake for a six year old in just one portion. There are indications that salt can not only increase heart attacks and strokes but can also have a negative effect on stomach cancer, osteoporosis, asthma and other conditions.
According to World Action on Salt and Health the following shows the maximum amount of salt that children should have in their diet.
|Age||Target Average Salt Intake|
|0 – 6 months||<1 gram per day|
|7 – 12 months||1 gram per day|
|1 – 3 years||2 grams per day|
|4 – 6 years||3 grams per day|
|7 – 10 years||5 grams per day|
|11 – 14 years||6 grams per day|
On the positive side, research by Consensus Action on Salt and Health has shown that salt content in ready meals has dropped by nearly half in the last four years. However, this is still considered not nearly enough. Most processed food contains some salt, even some of those products that advertise themselves as healthy can have well above a healthy amount. Apparently many ready made sandwiches have over 2 grams of salt.
I have just had a quick trip down to the local supermarket. An average slice of bread contains half a gram of salt and a tin of soup contains 2 grams. It doesn?t take much to go over the recommended level, especially if you have one of those teenagers who never seem to stop eating. It seems that the only reliable way of keeping below the limits is to make your food from scratch.
Apparently Rochdale Council, in north west England have recently given salt shakers to the local chip shops, which have fewer holes, to reduce the quantity of salt customers add to their food.
On the strength of reading about this yesterday, I decided to take a stand and tell my children that there would be no more salt on the table. I was expecting a big fuss, but there was none. I told them that after a couple of days they would get used to the change in the taste of their food and they ate all their dinner without any more fuss than usual.
This article is not meant to provide any medical advice. Please consult your doctor for further information.