Eat well, Move more, Live longer

Watch the salt - avoiding salt in the foods that we eat

Many of us enjoy a bit of salt on our food. And you might think you don’t eat much salt, especially if you don’t add it to your food. But don’t be so sure.

What we don’t realise is that salt is hidden in everyday foods that don’t even taste that salty! Things like bread, breakfast cereal, ready meals, sauces, baked beans and pizza. In fact, three quarters of the salt that we eat is found in the foods we buy.

It means that most of us are eating much more salt that than we realise, and that’s before we add any salt while cooking or at the table.

The bad news is that too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which means we are more at risk of getting heart disease or having a stroke.

How much?

To stay healthy, our goal should be to eat no more than 6g of salt a day for adults– that’s around a teaspoonful, which isn’t very much at all. That’s why it’s so important to watch the salt – both how much we add to food and how much is in the foods that we buy.

It’s not just adults that need to watch the salt – if you’ve got kids, you need to keep an eye on it for them as well. If they're under 11, they should be eating less salt than you – that’s even less than one teaspoon.

  • Kids aged one to three: 2g salt a day (0.8g sodium)
  • Kids aged four to six: 3g salt a day (1.2g sodium)
  • Kids aged seven to 10: 5g salt a day (2g sodium)
  • Kids aged 11 and over: 6g salt a day (2.4g sodium)

Try not to give them a taste for salt right from the beginning – have a look at the tips on our sister site, Start4Life, which has advice for parents with babies and children under 2.

Luckily, by keeping an eye on what we eat, we can keep a check on the salt.
Find out more about foods that can be high in salt

Watch the salt

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