Salt is a combination of two minerals - sodium and chloride, but often the words salt, and sodium are used interchangeably. Salt will be listed on the ingredients list, but in the nutritional information panel (the numbers on the back of a food package), you will see only sodium listed.
2. We NEED sodium
We do need some sodium (which we eat in the form of salt) to function which can easily be got through eating unprocessed foods. Most people don’t need to add salt to their food to get the minimum amount needed. Too much sodium, however, can cause issues in our body including increasing the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
3. How much do I need?
It is recommended that adults should eat no more than 5g of salt a day in all their food, this is equal to 2000mg of sodium. Children need to have even less, for example the upper level of sodium for a 2-3 year old is 1000mg and for 4-8 year old’s it’s only 1400mg.
The average NZ adult now has 8.5g of day and many children have far more than is good for their body, much of which (75%) comes from processed and packaged food.