Cardiologists and other health professionals have long known the importance of not eating too much salt in our diets.
The NHS recommends a daily salt intake for adults of no more than 6g (2.4g of sodium). But the average amount of salt consumed daily by working-age English adults is 8.4g.
Why is this important? Because too much salt in our diets can lead to high blood pressure, which can, in turn, lead to a stroke or heart attack. The latest research from the British Heart Foundation outlines the health benefits of reducing our daily salt intake.
Reducing salt intake – BHF research
The report found that if the recommended salt intake guidelines were reduced to consuming just 5g of salt a day (under a teaspoon as recommended by the World Health Organisation). It could lead to 135,000 fewer new cases of coronary heart disease in the UK by 2035.
It could also lead to 1.4 million fewer people with high blood pressure.
How Can I Reduce My Salt Intake?
Following a Venturi consultation, which may include a private ECG (electrocardiogram) to measure your heart’s rate and rhythm, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure, which means we would make dietary and lifestyle recommendations and advise some changes to improve your overall heart health. Here are some examples of dietary advice involving high-salt foods and the small steps you can take:
- Check the red, amber, and green labels on packaged food. Avoid foods that have a red alert for salt content. If you can only see sodium on the label, multiply this by 2.5, and that’s how many g of salt is in the food per 100g.
- Avoid high salt foods such as bacon, cheese, ham, some breads, sausages, ketchup, gravy granules, smoked meats, salted and dry roasted peanuts and stock cubes.
- Look for “low sodium” or “low salt” alternatives.
- Avoid prepared meals that are often high in salt, including sandwiches, soup, pizza, and bagels.
- Speak with a health professional about nutrition advice.
While this list of foods to cut down on or avoid is not exhaustive, it gives you some ideas of foods that can be bad for your heart health.
If you’re concerned about your heart health and blood pressure in general, Venturi Cardiology can run various diagnostic tests, including a private ECG, to determine your heart health. All consultations include a full report where we can initiate a plan with you to help avoid any future risks.
Contact us today to make an appointment.