fr

Watch your salt intake

Comments

Chips, frozen foods, canned soup, sauces, and so on: salt is found in many foods and adds taste to them. However, it can also have multiple adverse effects on your health when you eat too much of it. And you, do you eat too much salt?

Faites attention à votre consommation de sel

Sodium

Sodium is the sixth-most abundant element in the earth’s crust, which is made up of nearly 3% sodium in all its forms. Salt – which is essential to many living organisms (including human beings) – is also found in seawater. It is present in the food we eat – sometimes, unfortunately, in excessive quantities.

To function normally, the body needs a certain amount of sodium, which is found in table salt and in many foods. However, excess sodium can cause hypertension, which is a major risk factor for diseases that affect the heart, kidneys, and the brain.

Target values

The quantity of salt you need to ingest on a daily basis varies with age. Health Canada recommends the following values by age group:

Age

Quantity of sodium per day

0 to 6 months

120 mg

7 to 12 months

370 mg

1 to 3 years

1,000 mg

4 to 8 years

1,200 mg

9 to 50 years

1,500 mg

51 to 70 years

1,300 mg

More than 70 years

1,200 mg

 

The maximum quantity of sodium to be ingested per day should not exceed 2,300 mg in people who are aged 14 years or older. Beyond this quantity, negative effects may appear, including an increase in blood pressure. It is estimated that Canadians consume, on average, 3,400 mg of sodium per day, which is much higher than recommended values.

Keep in mind that the values above were determined for people in good health. Certain diseases, such as hypertension or heart failure, can influence target values. Speak with your healthcare professional to determine how much sodium you should take every day in accordance with your age and state of health.

Food with high salt content

Lifestyle plays a major role when it comes to salt intake. Eating out and buying prepared foods encourages overconsumption of sodium. Foods with high salt content include:

  • Frozen or canned foods
  • Restaurant meals
  • Salted and smoked meats (cold cuts, bacon, and so on)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Cheeses that contain salt
  • Crackers and chips
  • Commercial desserts
  • Soy sauce and other commercial sauces
  • Soups and broths

Adding salt to food when you cook or during the meal also contributes to overconsumption of sodium.

Practical advice

Here’s some advice to limit your consumption of sodium:

  • Limit the number of restaurant and prepared meals you eat
  • Avoid adding salt to your dish before tasting it
  • Use spices and herbs rather than salt to add flavour to your dishes
  • Choose products labelled “salt-free,” “low salt,” and “no added salt”
  • Compare products from different brands and choose the ones that contain less sodium
  • Eat fresh or frozen vegetables rather than canned vegetables
  • Choose foods with salt content at less than 360 mg per portion
  • Don’t add salt to pasta water

It may be difficult to deprive yourself of your favourite foods in order to reduce your salt intake. Being careful about your health does not mean have to give up the foods that you enjoy. It’s just a matter of being careful about what you eat and to remember that salt is like alcohol: moderation is the key!

Read more on the subject

4 tips for benefiting from the power of foods

Read article +

Dehydrated skin: the food you need for beautiful skin

Read article +

Staying on track with your health goals even while on vacation

Read article +

4 tips to start the year on the right foot

Read article +

Choose matcha, and make the most of your holidays

Read article +

Let saffron transport you to exotic places

Read article +

4 easy smoothie recipes to jumpstart your mornings

Read article +
Des astuces pour manger un burger santé

5 tips for eating well for people who don’t like healthy foods

Read article +

Anatomy of a perfect buddha bowl

Read article +

3 homemade pumpkin spice latte recipes

Read article +

6 healthy snack ideas for your summer outings

Read article +

4 healthy and fun brunch ideas

Read article +
15 mythes sur la saine alimentation

15 Myths About Nutrition

Read article +

Are they gluten-free?

Read article +

Dry hair? The food you need for fabulous hair.

Read article +

Anti-aging tips: fighting wrinkles with diet

Read article +
cuisiner santé en camping

3 tips for cooking healthy while camping

Read article +

Food trends – what movie stars love

Read article +

Healthy, original burgers: 5 must-try recipes

Read article +

Flavoured water: jazz up your water to stay hydrated

Read article +

Food and gluten allergies: finding the right substitutes

Read article +

5 trending foods in 2016

Read article +

3 tips to eat better

Read article +

6 answers to your questions about vitamins and minerals

Read article +

Is barbecuing in winter possible?

Read article +

Getting those vitamins: which vegetables to choose

Read article +
8 verres d'eau par jour

8 glasses of water a day—myth or fact?

Read article +

6 ways to create a fun and healthy lunch box

Read article +
aliments de saison

5 summer fruits and veggies to (re)discover

Read article +
collations santé à apporter en festival

5 snacks to bring to festivals

Read article +

Comment the article

Stay informed!
Stay informed!

Get the latest news about new trends and Brunet promotions!

Stay informed. Sign up for the Brunet newsletter!