Questions about salt

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Answers to the most common questions about salt, including high salt foods, how one salt compares to another and how much is safe to eat.

What is the difference between salt and sodium?

Salt is a mineral and is made up of sodium and chloride, but it’s the sodium in salt that is bad for your health. Although health professionals talk about salt, it is the sodium that is listed on food labels in supermarkets and what we should be keeping track of.

How much salt should I be consuming daily?

The average Australian should aim to consume less than 5 grams of salt a day, which is less than 1 teaspoon. Most of us are exceeding this with the average Australian consuming about 9 grams daily.

Are different types of salt better for me than others?

Unfortunately, salt is salt. It doesn’t matter if its pink, red, black, natural or in crystal form, it all has the same effect on the body. Although some natural salts may provide other minerals to the body, the sodium content will be the same.

Learn more about salt.

Which foods are highest in salt?

Seventy-five per cent of the salt in our diets comes from processed foods. When we say processed we don’t just mean salty snacks like crisps and savoury biscuits. Many processed foods have salt added for preservation or safety, including foods that are frozen, dried or tinned. Bread for example, has salt added to help tighten the gluten structure which adds strength to the bread dough.

Bread, breakfast cereals and cereal products, processed meats, soups, sauces and spreads all have high amounts of sodium and can contribute to your daily salt intake. It is best to check the Nutrition Information Panel of a food if you are unsure of the sodium content.

How do I cut back on salt?

Use herbs and spices instead makes a big difference. You can eat less salt, sugar and fat following these simple steps.

Discover herbs and spices you can substitute for salt.