Reducing Salt Intake can Save Many Lives in Australia

May 20, 2014

Many people are familiar with the risks that excessive salt intake can impose. High degrees of sodium consumption have been scientifically linked to dangerous conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes.

However, despite these facts, the average Australian consumes about 9 grams of salt every day.

Recommended sodium intake

According to the Australian Heart Foundation, it is recommended that people do not consume more than 6 grams of salt a day if they are otherwise healthy, and no more than 4 grams a day if they are already known to have problems with high blood pressure or heart disease.

Research conducted by the Australian Heart Foundation determined that if Australians were to cut back on their consumption of salt by just 3 grams a day, many Australian lives could potentially be saved.

The source of the problem

The problems concerning the high levels of salt-related health issues in Australia are thought to be connected to a lack of education about where consumers get most of their daily salt intake.

Salt is not just something that you shake onto your meal for added taste, it is also found in processed foods such as crisps, dips, fast foods, and chips. Although many people recognise that foods such as these aren’t healthy, they do not realise just how much salt is contained within them.

The next steps

Over the past few years, health officials in Australia have been working to reduce the level of salt that goes into Australian food by approximately 1,000 tons a year. However, even these significant efforts may not be enough. Although Australia has made a good start, the country needs additional funding and work to boost the agenda for food reformulation.