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Cut down on your salt intake - and cut risk of stroke

It's national Salt Awareness Week - and Wolverhampton City Council's Public Health team is encouraging people to think about how they can cut their salt intake.

Eating too much salt raises blood pressure and can triple the risk of stroke, the third biggest killer in the UK and the leading cause of severe disability in adults, and heart disease.

The British Heart Foundation says adults should eat less than 6 grams of salt each day - that's about one teaspoon. This includes the salt contained within ready made foods like bread, as well as the salt added during cooking and at the table. Children should eat less salt than adults, with the recommended amount varying according to their age.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "Most people know that too much salt is bad for them, and Salt Awareness Week is a good opportunity to check how much salt they are consuming on a daily basis.

"It's important to note that around 3 quarters of the salt we eat has already been added to our food before we buy it.

"Packet soups, sauces and ready meals as well as every day foods like bread and breakfast cereals often have salt added to them, and because we eat these foods so often, the amount of salt we are consuming can really add up.

"There are lots of things people can do to reduce their salt intake, and now is a good time to make the change.

"Top tips include adding less salt to your food either while you are cooking or at the table, using pepper, herbs, garlic or spices to flavour foods instead of salt, swapping salty snacks like crisps and salted nuts with fruit and vegetables, and reading labels carefully to help you can choose less salty options."

Experts from the British Heart Foundation' s Hearty Lives team will be out and about during Wolverhampton's Working Well Week next week providing help and advice about salt. They will be at a Healthy Minds pop up shop at the Mander Centre on Monday and Tuesday (23 and 24 March) from 9.30am to 3pm and the Civic Centre foyer on Tuesday and Wednesday (24 and 25 March) from 10am to 4pm.

They will also be at the City of Wolverhampton College Skills Show at Molineux Stadium on Wednesday 25 March from 10am to 2pm, Newhampton Arts Centre on Friday 27 March from 9.30am to 11.30am and the Wolverhampton Jobs Fair on Friday 27 March from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

Salt Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday (22 March) is organised by Consensus Action on Salt and Health - please visit Action Salt for more information. For advice about reducing salt intake, and to download a handy guide, please visit British Heart Foundation.

Wolverhampton Working Well Week runs from 23 to 27 March and provides opportunities to support local people to boost their chances of finding the right job, getting the right training and improving their health. The full programme of events can be found at Working Well Week. People can also find out more at Wolverhampton Today or on Twitter using the hashtag #wolvesin2work.

  • released: Wednesday 18 March, 2015