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Salt – Is it time you cut back?

Salt can be quite an addictive condiment for some us, especially if you don’t know when to stop or how much we actually need each day. The lip smacking savoury goodness that we get from salt enriched foods satisfies our pallette like no other, but it’s important to note that excessive can be extremely dangerous.

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top ways to help you cut back on salt intake:

1. Complimentary snacks РWhen out with friends or perhaps settling down to a relaxing with a drink or two after a long day at the office, you may find that the bar or pub you are in offers complimentary snacks. Be wary that nibbles such as crackers, potato chipsand even olives are jam packed with salt content. It may be sensible to drink more if you do decide to eat them, but perhaps drink water rather than alcohol.

2.  Sport hydration drinks РDrinks like these are designed for athletes who are training or exercising vigourously. The water and salt lost during sweating needs to be replaced quickly, making sports drinks like these vital to good health. However, for those of us not exercising a sports drink could do you more harm than good. Instead, why not opt for good old fashioned water as your thirst quencher.

3. Be wary of medication – If you suffer from regular headaches, muscle pains or even take regular medication, it may be worth checking the salt content. It may seem odd at first, but some painkillers and other common medication can contain a surprising amount of salt.

4. Soda or Sparkling? – You may be surprised to know that sparkling water and soda water are literally at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the amount of salt they contain. Soda water is carbonated with sodium bicarbonate which contains an average of 75mg of sodium. Sparking water on the other hand contains just 3mg of sodium.

5. Calculation is key – It’s important to remember that salt is made from a combination of sodium and chloride, with sodium being the real cause of most health problems. When grocery shopping, you may have noticed that some food labels show salt content whilst others show sodium content. If you want to know the salt content rather than the sodium, simply multiply the sodium figure by 2.5.

Remember, taking all the above into account, that the average adult should not exceed an average salt intake of 6g per day. Anything over this has been statistically proven to cause long term health problems.