The average Australian consumes around eight or nine times more salt (sodium) than they need for good health. Some foods contain higher amounts of salt than you may expect. The biggest culprits are processed foods.

Here are some tips for cutting down on salt in your diet.

  1. Read food labels when shopping. The salt content of the same type of product can vary considerably between brands.

  2. Buy reduced-salt bread and breakfast cereals. The regular varieties of these common staples are loaded with added salt.

  3. Avoid highly processed products. Examples of convenience foods best avoided include flavoured instant pasta, instant noodles, canned soups and dehydrated soup mixes.

  4. Make your own sauces. Popular processed sauces that contain lots of salt include soy sauce, tomato sauce, mayonnaise and salad dressings.

  5. Limit your consumption of salty snacks. Potato chips, salted nuts, pickles and most cheeses should be occasional treats, not a regular part of your daily diet.

  6. Cut back on processed meats. Varieties that are high in salt include salami, ham, corned beef, bacon, smoked salmon, sausages, frankfurts and chicken loaf.

  7. Cook with fresh or frozen vegetables. Canned vegetables tend to have added salt.

  8. Don’t add salt to food when cooking. Instead, add herbs or a splash of olive oil or lemon juice to enhance flavours.

  9. Put away the salt shaker. Try to break the habit of automatically salting your meals at the table.

  10. Eat takeaway foods only occasionally. When possible, choose low-salt takeaway options such as a salad.

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel

Last updated: October 2012

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