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Most people consume between 2.5grams and 6-grams of salt daily either by adding salt to their food, or through natural salt in food, or the added salt in the food we eat. Most of the salt in our diet comes from restaurants, fast-food takeaways, packaged and processed foods.

A high intake of salt it is claimed can cause a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and stomach cancer.

Salt is also called sodium chloride consisting of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Salt is extracted from salt mines or harvested by evaporating salt water or other sources of mineral rich water.

There are many types of salt available to buy, the most popular are; plain table salt, sea salt and Himalayan salt. Historically salt was used as a preservative for food, large amounts of salt prevented the growth of bacteria that caused the food to go bad.

Babies shouldn’t eat much salt, because their kidneys are not fully developed to process it. If babies are breastfed they will get the right amount of minerals, including sodium and chloride, from breast milk. Formula milk usually contains the same amount of minerals as breast milk.

Do not add salt to your baby’s milk or food, avoid processed foods such as ready meals, as these are often high in salt and their kidneys can’t cope with it. Food manufactured specifically for babies should meet the recommended salt levels – however, always check the label.

The following foods are almost always high in salt. To cut down on salt, eat them less often and have smaller amounts: anchovies, bacon, cheese, gravy granules, ham, olives, pickles, prawns, salami, salted and dry-roasted nuts, salt fish, smoked meat and fish, soy sauce, stock cubes and yeast extract.

In the following foods, the salt content can vary widely between different brands or varieties. That means you can cut down on salt by comparing brands and choosing the one that is lower in salt. These foods include: bread products such as crumpets, bagels and ciabatta, pasta sauces, crisps, pizza, ready meals, soup, sandwiches, sausages, tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other sauces, breakfast cereals.

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