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Take action now on salt intake, council warns

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Warrington Borough Council is supporting the campaign to raise awareness of the serious health risks of eating too much salt.

National Salt Awareness Week, run by CASH (Consensus Action on Salt & Health), starts today and this year’s theme is ‘Salt: The Forgotten Killer’. It will warn that salt raises blood pressure, and as a result, thousands of people around the UK are dying each year from preventable strokes, heart attacks and heart failure.

Many people don’t realise they are eating too much salt. Public Health England (PHE) recommends that adults consume less than 6 grams – about a teaspoon – of salt per day, but most people consume on average 9 -12 grams per day.

Most of the salt we eat – 75 per cent – comes from the foods we buy. Many foods have salt added to them, even foods that don’t necessarily taste salty. Ready meals and pizzas, for example, can contain 30 per cent of the salt that people consume each day. Crisps and other savoury snacks contain 16 per cent. Cereals and cereal products provide the most salt to our diets at 31 per cent. Bread and bread products contribute 20 per cent of the salt to our diet.

Over the week, the council will be reminding people about the health hazards of eating too much salt and explaining that by simply eating less of it, we can considerably lower our risk of dying prematurely.

The council will also be promoting the Change4Life Be Food Smart app, which shoppers can easily download and use to scan food products and find out how much salt, sugar and saturated fat is in each item, before you buy, helping you to make healthier choices.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin (pictured), the council’s lead member member for public health and wellbeing, said: “Too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which can eventually lead to strokes and heart attacks.

“Eating less salt doesn’t have to be difficult. Most products have nutrition labels on them which show the amount of salt they contain. You can also use the Be Food Smart app to scan most food products, and then switch to a lower salt option. In addition, think about adding less salt to your food when cooking at home. You might be surprised to discover how good your food tastes with less salt.”

For more information on salt and health, visit www.actiononsalt.org.uk @CASHSALT #LessSaltPlease

You can download the Be Food Smart app from the iTunes Store or Google Play to get hints and tips to cut down the amount of salt, sugar and saturated fat in your family’s diet.

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