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Most of us are eating more salt than we realise

Watch the salt

It's not just the salt added to our cooking or at the table that we need to watch out for. In fact, three-quarters of the salt we're eating is already in the foods we buy. These can contain a lot of salt — even if they don't taste salty!

Salty foods to watch out for

  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Ham

  • Pastries
  • Pizza
  • Cheese

  • Crisps
  • Salted nuts

  • Gravy
  • Brown sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Mustard and ketchup

* Data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 2016

What you need to know!

How salt affects our kids

Too much salt can put our kids at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease later on in life.

We're all eating too much

We should be having less than 6g of salt a day – that's less than a teaspoon!

Foods can be saltier than they taste

More than half of our kids are eating too much salt every day. Cakes and biscuits can have a lot of salt in them, even if they do not taste salty.

How much is too much?

The maximum daily amounts of salt for you and your family are:

4-6 years

6 sachets (3 grams) a day

7 to 10 years

10 sachets (5 grams) a day

11+ years

12 sachets (6 grams) a day

* 1 sachet = 0.5g salt (12 sachets = 6g of salt, or 1 teaspoon)

Swaps and tips

The foods we buy can contain more salt than we realise. Cut back by making smarter choices while shopping – and by using healthier recipes.

Salt swaps

Cut back on salt by giving these swaps a go:

Illustrations of 3 food swaps to make in order to cut down on salt
Illustrations of 3 more food swaps to make in order to cut down on salt

Easy ways to watch the salt

Take it off the table

Remove the salt shaker from the table and use less salt in your cooking. Add flavour by using herbs and spices instead of salt – you'll soon find you do not miss it!

Salt smart shopper

Use the Food Scanner smartphone app to see how much salt is in your favourite food. Look for alternatives that are lower in salt.

Watch the soup

Ready-made soups can pack a salty punch. For a tasty lower-salt option, try making our spiced chicken and vegetable soup.

Box of wholegrain wheat biscuits

A healthy start

Choose a breakfast that's low in salt – plain porridge or cereal such as wholewheat biscuits or shredded wholegrain.

Sandwich fillings

Swap cheese and salty processed meats like ham and salami for lean cuts of chicken, beef or canned tuna. Add veggies and salad to every sarnie – and check out our lunchbox recipes for more ideas!

A calendar with days crossed off

Try the taste challenge

Take the "Salt Taste Challenge" and try cutting down on the salt you add to food over a few weeks. You may find you do not miss it any more. Why not give it a go?

Shop smart

At the supermarket, look out for lower-salt versions of your favourite baked beans, soups, soy sauce and table sauces.

Get the free Food Scanner app

Scan barcodes using the app to find out what's inside popular food and drink.

Download the Food Scanner on the App Store   Download the Food Scanner on Google Play

Image from the Food Scanner TV advert: Change4Life characters holding up a box of sugary cereal, and a hand holding a smartphone with the Food Scanner app showing how much sugar is in the cereal

If you don't have the app...

Some food labels have traffic light coloured labels to show the salt content. Choose more greens and ambers, and fewer reds.

Example traffic light label with values for energy (kilojoules and kilocalories); fat, saturates, sugars and salt (all grams), each's percentage of the recommended daily amount, and colour-coded as red, amber or green

Red means this food is high in salt. Think about how often you choose it and how much of it you eat.

Amber means this food has a medium amount of salt. This makes it an OK choice, although going for green is even better.

Green means it's low in salt, which makes it a healthier choice.