The recommended daily intake of salt for an adult, as per the UK’s National Health Service is at 6g/day. This may seem like a lot of salt to consume in just a day; the average adult consumes over 8.5g however.
How are we over-consuming?
The answer is rather simple, it’s hiding in our food. Well, it’s hiding in the prepared foods that we buy from supermarkets. The Western world has been shying away from natural, freshly prepared plates of food and in it’s place, a range of ready meals and fast food takeaways have taken grip. If we are to defeat unhealthy living, we must focus on this area of salt-consumption via stealth intake.
This is yet another area where plant-based diets can really shine, given the chance. A plant-based diet could be the answer to giving your body the right amount of vitamins, nutrients and even salt.
Statistically speaking, those living without the need to consume meat, fish and dairy, have a much lower tendency to consume ready meals and fast food. This is mainly as the options and variety remain absent. In turn, the meal preparation aspect of eating returns. You are facing your food, hand-picking, sniffing and tasting as you make it. You control what goes into each dish – this is where you can limit the salt you are putting into your body.
Is there good salt and bad salt?
Yes and No. It’s a strange question, but an interesting one.
First of all, what is salt? Salt is comprised of Sodium [40%] and Chloride [60&] – it is one of the most abundant minerals on this planet and acts as a great flavour enhancer. Salt can come in many shapes and forms – ranging from sea salt flakes to Himalayan rock salt to your standard table salt.
So which salt is the best? Our bodies need certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients in order to function at their best. Iodine is an element which is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones – it is commonly added to table salt. So if you find yourself saying “I only consume Himalayan rock salt” then you may want to reconsider adding a little table salt into your diet. This being said, we advise keeping table salt purely for it’s iodine content.
Himalayan salt and sea salt may be healthier options as they are usually unrefined, meaning they are composed of minerals found in our bodies already. Table salt is of course more refined, usually via a form of heating process which unfortunately removes most of these minerals. Iodine is generally added after this process.
The word salary comes from the allowance a Roman soldier had to buy salt, which was traded as an expensive but necessary commodity.
Salt is a very fickle ingredient lurking on your kitchen shelves. Be sure to take count of those crystals and grains making their way into your meals, they may be sneakier than you think.
Our tip for reducing the amount of salt and the impact of it in your body – take away that morning cereal and replace it with some delicious Organic oats, add in some fresh fruit, coconut and cinnamon. Don’t forget to top it off with some fair-trade banana and chia seeds for good measure. The banana contains potassium works against the negative attributes of your daily salt intake.
Find our number one breakfast recipe here.
If you want more information on how much salt you should be consuming, please visit the NHS website – www.nhs.co.uk