In our increasingly health conscious world, salt is the ingredient that consumers are worrying about when it comes to what is in their food and their long term health.
The British Government recommends that a healthy diet should not exceed 6g of salt a day – although recent data shows that the population is eating on average 8.1g of salt a day.
It’s not only making sure that we don’t use the salt shaker too much – the types of food we are eating are also coming under scrutiny, especially processed meat and meals. The campaigning group Action on Salt found last month that brands of bacon fluctuate wildly in regards to salt levels, with some brands having more salt in two rashers than in eight bags of crisps. The group’s report on this finding went on:
“Bacon is a commonly consumed meat product in the UK, eaten in a wide variety of occasions, be it in the morning in a bacon roll or part of your breakfast at home or on the go, or as an ingredient in home cooking, ready meals, sandwiches and even salads. According to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, the bacon industry is worth over £900 million, with consumers currently purchasing over 150,000 tonnes per year. Bacon is also the second biggest contributor of salt to UK diet, contributing to a total of 4.66% in adults.”
The report also found that the average salt content of bacon was 3.21g of salt per 100g, with an average salt of 1.47g in 2 cooked rashers. Tesco and Iceland did not display colour coded nutrition labelling on front of pack in the report’s research; and shockingly products that were labelled as ‘reduced salt’ were not necessarily the lowest salt products on the market.
Last year, Action for Salt also looked into the salt levels of children’s meal in the UK’S out of home food scetor and found that children’s meals were falling short of healthy nutritional needs:
“In total, 357 children’s meals were surveyed from 26 outlets across the UK. Of these 42% had more than 1.8g of salt per portion -the maximum salt target for children’s meals in the out of home sector. If colour-coded nutrition labelling was used on menus in the out of home sector, these meals would receive a red label for salt. Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) and Toby Carvery had the highest proportion of high salt meals, with 88% and 83% of their dishes containing high levels of salt respectively. GBK had the highest average salt content per meal, followed by Weatherspoon.”
Action on Salt had looked into children’s meals in this sector in 2015 – the organisation found that whilst 29% of meals surveyed in 2015 had 2g of salt or more per meal, 2019 saw this number increase to 36% of meals. Of the 112 meals that appear in both the 2015 and 2019 surveys, 20% have seen no change in salt content, while 40% have increased in salt.
So what do we need to do to reduce our salt intake and better our health?
The British Heart Foundation advises that the best ways for consumers to reduce salt include:
- – Checking nutritional information on food labels and choose low-salt options.
- – Add less salt when cooking and don’t have a salt shaker on your table.
- – Flavour food with pepper, herbs, garlic, spices or lemon juice instead – check out our herb and spice range to help flavour your recipes with the best herbs and spices available in the market!
- – Soy sauce or jerk seasoning are infamously high in salt – check when using certain cooking sauces as they can be high in sugar too.
- – Swap salty snacks such as crisps and salted nuts with fruit and vegetables.
- – Avoid saltier foods such as bacon, cheese, takeaways, ready meals and other processed foods.
Health concerns have become more integral to the modern food industry – public worries regarding fat in the last twenty years has led to the mainstream nature of low and no fat products, and salt will be no exception to this innovation rule. Increased flavour through spices and herbs to replace salt, low salt options for international cooking sauces and recipes, inventive low salt snacks, and further demands for increased transparency for ingredients and nutritional information will be the order of the day – and will only endear brands to today’s time pressed, health conscious consumer.
Did you know that the Our Earth range is low salt, as well as allergen free and vegan friendly? Have a look at our range at www.our-earth.com – we’re looking to expand the range in the future, so watch this space for even more revolutionary launches for the modern food industry!
Give us a call to discuss your seasonal and reduced salt requirements today! You can contact us:
- By calling 01529 305000.
- Emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Talking to us on our Live Chat function at sleafordqf.com
We would love to hear from you!