South Lincolnshire is backing a campaign urging people to eat less salt.
Salt Awareness Week runs from Monday 16 March to Sunday 22 March. The focus of the campaign this year is to help reduce the salt intake in children and therefore reduce the number of people suffering from cardiovascular disease.
Children are considered a vulnerable group in society as often they have little influence on or involvement in what they eat. Evidence suggests that dietary habits in childhood and adolescence also influence eating patterns in later life. Liking salt and salty foods is a learned taste preference and so it is vital that children do not develop a taste for salt in the first place.
A high salt intake in children can influence blood pressure and may predispose a child to the development of a number of diseases including: high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma, stomach cancer and obesity.
With strong evidence that high salt intake sparks high blood pressure – the main cause of strokes and a major cause of heart attacks and heart failure – South Lincolnshire CCG are calling on people to mark Salt Awareness Week by cutting down on salt.
Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said:
“You don't have to add salt to your food to eat too much of it – around 75 per cent of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals.
“A good tip to help reduce the amount of salt in your diet is to taste the food you are going to eat before you add salt. Many of us add salt out of habit, but it's often unnecessary, and your food will taste good without it.
“Almost everyone in the UK eats too much salt; if we could achieve a three-gram reduction in the average daily intake by adults that would have a huge impact on reducing the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease.
“Many people add salt to food when cooking. But there are lots of other ways to add flavour to your cooking without using any salt. Black pepper, fresh herbs and spices are good as is baking or roasting your vegetables and making sauces from tomatoes or garlic”