Eat less salt
Limit your salt intake to less than 6g (2.4g sodium) a day by adding less salt and eating less food processed with salt
You may be aware that eating too much salt can be bad for you and increases the risk of high blood pressure. Although the evidence linking added salt to stomach cancer has become less clear – partly because of the difficulty in measuring salt consumption – we cannot rule out the link. Our research (pdf) shows that salt-preserved foods, which are mainly consumed in Asia, increase the risk of stomach cancer. Therefore, although such foods are less common in the UK, eating too much salt is still a health concern.
Tips on how to shake off salt
Check food labels
Did you know about 75 per cent of the salt in our diet comes from processed foods, such as bread, cereals, snacks and ready meals? A quick way to pick low-salt options is to look for a green label for salt on front-of-pack nutrition labels.
- At a glance: making sense of food and drink labelling (pdf)
Choose no-added or low salt
Opt for no-added-salt or low-salt options where possible – for example when buying baked beans and other tinned foods, stock cubes, ready-made sauces and soups, and breakfast cereals.
Reduce added salt during cooking
Gradually reduce, then cut out, the salt that you add during cooking or at the table. Taste buds change over four to six weeks, so if you try adding less salt for a few weeks it’s likely that you will learn to enjoy the natural flavours of real food.
- Look for alternatives in our Wheel of Flavour
Cook from scratch
Cook from scratch when you can. Eating more home-made meals allows you to take more control over what you eat – flavouring your food with garlic, ginger, lemon, herbs and spices will help to make sure you don’t miss the salt.
- Try one of our delicious healthy recipes, which all indicate salt content