The UK�s Food Standards Agency is launching a new campaign to encourage people to check salt levels on food labels, as 77 per cent of people are not aware that bread and breakfast cereals are amongst the most laden products.
The FSA started its salt reduction campaign in 2004. It is aiming to reduce adults� intake to 6g per day, since excess salt consumption can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular problems. The current average is 8.6g � way above the recommendation but a gram a day less than before the campaign started, the FSA says.
The agency has set out salt reduction targets for industry for 2010 and 2012 for different food categories, but since salt often plays a technical role it is not always as easy as simply building back the flavour.
The next step of the campaign involves an advertising campaign that shows foods making a big contribution to salt intake � and it is not always those consumers think.
The aim is to encourage people to check the labels while they are doing their shopping.
�We�re not suggesting people stop eating these foods. In fact, we encourage people to eat bread and breakfast cereals, as they are an important part of a healthy diet,� said Rosemary Higness, head of nutrition at the FSA. �But we are saying take a look at the labels to find those that are lower in salt. This could be a supermarket own-label product, and maybe one from the �value� range. If so, any cost saving is an added bonus.
�We�ve been working closely with food manufacturers and retailers to encourage them to use less salt in their foods, and are pleased with the progress that is being made. But there is still a wide variation of salt levels in different brands, which is why it is so important that people check the labels.�
Julian Hunt, director of communications at the Food and Drink Federation drew attention to the work food companies in the UK have done on reducing the salt in products like bread, breakfast cereals, cooking sauces, snacks and soups.
OMG! Good grief! Are they kidding? I've been trying, for years, to keep my sodium intake down to 3g max. I thought that 2300 mg was the recommended maximum.
The one item that continues to vex me is the sodium content of canned soup. I normally like to make my own; but some of the commercial soups are absolutely delicious and, most of all, convenient. However one can may contain 980mg sodium; and that is for one serving. Now who can actually consider one can of soup to have two servings? Not me. I normally eat the whole can. That makes my dinner have almost 2G sodium.