Salt -  How Much Is Too Much?

Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease. It’s important that you don’t eat more than the recommended amount of salt each day.

Adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day - that's about one teaspoon.
Checking the nutritional information on food labels will help you to choose healthier options.
Being aware of how much salt you eat will help you to stay healthy, and it's not just about the salt you put on your food after it's cooked – there’s plenty of hidden salt to think about too.

Products typically high in salt are:

  • Crisps
  • Canned and packet soups and sauces
  • Baked beans and canned vegetables
  • Pork pies
  • Processed foods
  • Pizzas and other ready meals  
Some staple foods like bread and breakfast cereals have added salt, and it can also be found in sweet foods like cakes and biscuits.
To reduce your salt intake, avoid foods with high salt content.

What else can I do?

You can:

  • Add less salt to your cooking - as you get used to the taste, cut it out completely
  • Don't add salt to your food at the table
  • Instead of salt, use pepper, herbs, garlic, spices or lemon juice to add flavour to your food
  • Cut down on processed foods that contain a lot of salt
  • Use food labels to choose lower salt options.

How much is too much?

Health experts recommend that adults should consume less than 6g of salt a day. To give you a clearer idea, one level teaspoon contains 6g of salt. If you think you may be consuming too much salt, you are not alone. Currently, the average daily intake of salt by adults in the UK is far too high – with many people consuming over 9g of salt each day.

Always read the label…

Regularly checking the nutrition information on food labels can help you to choose healthier options for your diet.

Salt often appears as sodium on food labels (6g of salt is equivalent to 2.5g of sodium).

For pre-prepared foods, look at the ‘amount per serving’.

A lot or a little per 100g

A LOT                                     A LITTLE

1.25g of salt or more - 0.25g of salt          0.5g sodium or more - 0.1g of sodium

The salt reduction plan.

Here are some easy ways to reduce your salt intake:

  • Use food labels to choose lower salt options
  • Try adding less salt to your cooking (e.g.when boiling vegetables, making casseroles, pasta sauces etc) – as you get used to the taste, cut it out completely
  • Avoid adding salt to your meal at the table – taste it first and try adding herbs instead if you wish
  • Watch out for salty snacks such as crisps and salted nuts
  • Highly salted foods such as bacon, cheese, and other processed foods such as ready meals and takeaways
  • Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables. Aim for at least five portions a day
  • Watch out for cooking sauces (especially soy sauce) as some of these are very high in salt. 
7 to 10 years - 5g salt a day (2g sodium)

11 and over - 6g salt a day (2.5g sodium)

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