It’s time to stop a-salt-ing our bodies

salt Dec 07, 2020

What’s the go with salt? Is it good? Is it bad? Is it ugly?


To be honest, it’s a bit mixed. Salt is an essential mineral which regulates muscle contractions, fluid balance and nerve transmission. The problem is we overeat it. On average, we’re consuming 3,600mg per day, with the recommendations being no more than 2000mg. Essentially, we’re giving our bodies double the sodium it requires, which can lead to adverse health outcomes.



  1. Increased blood pressure.
  2. Increased risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease.
  3. An increased risk of other chronic conditions, e.g. kidney disease and osteoporosis.
  4. Oedema (fluid build-up).
  5. Increased inflammation in the body.
  6. Poorer immune function.


What are the main foods a-salt-ing our body?

Well, the main culprits include table salt (no duh), packaged food (cakes, biscuits, chocolate, etc.) and deep-fried foods (hot chips & fried fish). What might surprise you is that it’s also found in processed foods, like bread and cheese. Salt is commonly used as a preservative, as well as a flavour enhancer.



Salty strategies to moderate our sodium intake.

  1. Flavour foods with herbs and spices. Open the pantry, whip out the spiced paprika and get a little experimental! Herbs and spices also have the benefit of being LOADED with antioxidants.
  2. Understand label reading. Take a glance at the ‘per 100g’ column and analyse the sodium content. If the product contains less than 400mg of sodium, it’s good, and if it has less than 120mg, it’s excellent! For more information regarding label reading, get ready for an upcoming next blog post. 
  3. Practice mindful eating by focusing on food flavour. It only takes 6 weeks for your taste buds to adjust to less salt. In the meantime (and the post-time) use other flavour enhancers like pepper, herbs, chilli, lemon, lime juice and vinegar.
  4. Increase your GOOD gut bacteria. Use fermented products, like sauerkraut and yoghurts, or take a probiotic! Having a healthy gut can assist with salt regulation.
  5. Eat a well-balanced diet with a big focus on fruits and vegetables (those bad boys fuel the good gut bacteria).


In conclusion, we need a little salt in our diets to help with normal body functioning. However, because of our highly processed diets, we are more likely to exceed salt recommendations as opposed to underdoing it. Therefore, it’s more important to be mindful about the secret sources of sodium - that way we can cut back! For a complete dietary assessment, as well as personalised strategies regarding salt reduction, book a consult at CQ Nutrition.


Here is a link to book in with one of our expert dietitians at any of our locations https://www.cqnutrition.com.au/booking/ 

Want an online consultation? Book in on my calendar and in comments write online: https://bit.ly/AnnieROK 

Written by Annabel Johnston, BAppSc&MDietPrac


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