LIFESTYLE

How To Reduce Your Salt Intake: Watch Out For These Foods With Hidden Sodium

19/06/2014 15:25 BST | Updated 19/06/2014 15:59 BST

We all know that salt isn't great for us, but do you know exactly how much is really in your food?

A diet that is high in salt can cause raised blood pressure, making you more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke in the future. High blood pressure currently affects around one third of adults in the UK.

salt

Salt is also called sodium chloride. Sometimes, food labels only give the figure for sodium, but there is a simple way to work out how much salt you are eating from the sodium figure: salt = sodium x 2.5

Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day – that's around one full teaspoon. Children should eat less - here's the NHS guidelines:

1 to 3 years – 2g salt a day (0.8g sodium)

4 to 6 years – 3g salt a day (1.2g sodium)

7 to 10 years – 5g salt a day (2g sodium)

11 years and over – 6g salt a day (2.4g sodium)

In the video, Molly Kimball from Get The Skinny says: “There’s a lot of foods out there that are either legitimately nutritious for us or there are some that are are perceived as healthy that really can pack in loads of sodium.”

She uncovers pita bread, cottage cheese and balsamic vinegar as being among the worst culprits for having unperceived high levels of salt.

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Watch to see Molly explain the health benefits and risks of eating these foods before providing advice about healthier alternatives.

She also notes that though we should be mindful of our salt intake, having some salt in our diet is essential, especially for those who exercise regularly and lose a lot of salt through sweat.