‘Shake it off’: Aussies urged to cut down their salt consumption for better heart health
4 March 2021 at 5:25 pm
New research shows two in five Australians believe salt is okay to flavour foods in heart-healthy eating
Australians are being urged to “put away the salt shaker” during World Salt Awareness Week and get creative in the kitchen to give their heart a healthy boost.
The Heart Foundation says too many people wrongly believe salt can be a part of heart-healthy eating and is calling on Australians to follow the lead of Taylor Swift and “shake it off”.
A survey of more than 1,000 Australian adults found two in five people (40 per cent) agreed salt was okay to flavour foods in heart-healthy eating, while 29 per cent were uncertain.
Ahead of World Salt Awareness Week (8 to 14 March), Heart Foundation dietitian Sian Armstrong warned that regularly consuming excess salt could lead to high blood pressure.
“High blood pressure is known as a silent killer because there are no obvious signs or symptoms that you have it, but it can put you at higher risk of a heart attack or stroke. As people get older, it can increase over time,” Armstrong said.
“The good news is high blood pressure can be controlled by following a heart-healthy eating pattern that is naturally low in salt, added sugars, saturated and trans fat, together with other lifestyle changes and, if advised by your doctor, taking medication.”
Armstrong said this didn’t mean you had to give up exciting food, arguing you don’t need to add salt to pack a flavour punch in healthy meals.
She urged Australians to “put away the salt shaker, channel your inner Jamie Oliver and get creative in the kitchen to give your heart a healthy boost”.
“Our tastebuds do adjust over time to less salt in foods,” she said.
“And creating your own pasta sauces or salad dressings rather than using store-bought versions packed with salt is not only satisfying but also helps to reduce your salt intake.
For those who need more inspiration, the Heart Foundation has created a range of heart-healthy recipes you can check out here.