Sadly, unless supported by the food industry, then it may not be possible to reach the target of reducing our salt intake to <6g/day. The Australian division of World Action on Salt and Health AWASH is a network of individuals and organisations concerned with salt and its detrimental effects on our health. Their aim is to get an overall 25% reduction in the salt content of food and to increase consumer knowledge on the benefits of low salt diets.
To prevent chronic disease. Statistics indicate that 60% of total deaths are from chronic disease; and it is acknowledged that 80% of heart disease, stroke and non-insulin dependent diabetes, and 40% of cancers could be prevented through inexpensive and cost-effective interventions.
Many population studies have proven the benefits of salt reduction on health. Finland is a successful example of prevention of cardio-vascular mortality, where they achieved, through health promotion campaigns and sustained policy implementation, a 30% reduction in population hypertension levels.
How are they going to achieve a population reduction in salt intake?
As 80% of all salt is hidden in processed foods then the cooperation of the food industry is imperative.
But as Professor Graham McGregor, UK, says, the food industry is reluctant because:
• salt is a cheap ingredient which can make completely inedible food palatable at virtually no cost
• salt acts with polyphosphanates in meat products as a water-binding agent forming a gel so the product weight can be increased at no cost
• It is a major drive to thirst and therefore any reduction in salt intake would cause large reductions in soft drink, mineral water and beer consumption.
• A salt taste habituation develops and children start to demand these very highly salted foods, from which the food industry makes large profits.
Is it achievable?
Well the 6g of salt, refers to salt NOT sodium. 6g of salt = 2.3g sodium. Being as we get between 0.5g and 1.0g natural sodium in the food we eat on a daily basis, then an additional 1.3g would mean that people could not eat much processed food if they were to remain within the guidelines. For example, 100g of croissant may deliver 0.5g sodium and 100g of savoury biscuits would deliver 1.3g. You can check out this FSA link for sodium values in common processed foods.
It’s no wonder that the drive to push this isn’t very strong due to vested interests. However, this shouldn’t be a deterrent. From past experience, if one wants to keep healthy then one doesn’t wait for the Government’s stamp of approval because, as we know, it’s often a case of too little and too late.
My dietary healing program focuses on the no-salt approach, and as a consequence I have helped hundreds of people reverse their chronic conditions and in many cases, seen cure.
If you need some help in planning your salt-reduced program and you haven’t already got a copy of my book Dietary Healing, the complete detox program – then it’s strongly recommended.
This video tutorial on the sodium/potassium balance is essential viewing for understanding how a low sodium program heals.