Halt the Salt!

With Aussies consuming 10 times the amount of sodium they need for good health, Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift asks us to halt the salt!

Did you know a McDonald’s large chocolate shake contains as much sodium as a large serving of fries, or that you can blow your daily salt intake with just a couple slices of pizza – and that a Vegemite sandwich can supply 50 per cent of a small child’s daily salt limit?

Salt is found in almost every food we eat – worryingly, it’s estimated Aussies currently munch through twice the suggested daily dietary target for salt – despite the significant health risks.

Excess levels of sodium and/or salt can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, overweight and obesity, which increases the risk of a range of chronic diseases – including some cancers.

Salt is often not where you would expect to find it – 75 per cent of the salt Aussies consume is in the processed foods we eat on a daily basis, like bread, breakfast cereals, canned food and pasta sauces.

We know up to one-third of cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes including eating healthy, quitting smoking, engaging in physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.

Getting your health back on track doesn’t mean overhauling your whole lifestyle – it can be a few small changes to your meals or physical activity habits that can make a big difference.

It’s important to limit the intake of foods high in salt – including takeaway and fast foods such as burgers, pizza, processed meats, fried chicken and chips – these foods should only be consumed sometimes and in small amounts.

Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and minimise high sodium soups, sauces, condiments, canned and preserved goods and prepared mixes – check nutritional information labels and choose low sodium options where possible.

Use alternatives – lemon juice, garlic, vinegar or herbs and spices can be great flavour alternatives when cooking at home!

Know your recommended sodium intake – National Health and Medical Research Council has set 1600mg as the daily suggested Dietary Target, or less than six grams of salt a day.

So at the dinner table tonight – consider halting the salt!

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or via the Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Nutrient Reference Values. AI Adequate Intake; UL Recommended Upper Daily Limit; all values as per the NHMRC. * Source from breast milk, formula and food only.

For interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171