Food safety chiefs issue salt warning.

Do you really need extra salt on that?

We are eating up to double our daily recommended salt allowance according to new research by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Irish men are eating twice the recommended amount of salt on a daily basis despite a significant reductions in salt levels in popular processed foods like rashers and sausages.

Irish women are eating up to 70 per cent more salt than recommended despite the risk to their heart health.

Dr Wayne Anderson, Director of Food Science and Standards, FSAI revealed the average salt intake of Irish consumers still exceeds the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended 5g salt per day.

He said: The estimated average daily salt intake in Irish adults is currently 11.1g salt per/day in men and 8.5g salt per/day in women. We would ask consumers to read product labels for information on salt content and reduce the amount of salt they add themselves in cooking and at the table.”

The FSAI examined 530 samples of processed food across four food product categories including: processed meats, breads, breakfast cereals and spreadable fats.

It found “significant salt reductions” across all processed food groups and sectors including: processed meats, bread, breakfast cereals and spreadable fats.

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Dr Anderson said: “Salt plays an important role in the diet, but people in Ireland are simply eating too much of it and this increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

“The addition of salt at the table or in cooking by consumers can represent up to 20-30 per cent of a person’s total salt intake. “

The FSAI wants us to read product labels, select low salt or salt free options when choosing products and to cut back on the high levels of salt added during cooking and at the table.

Seasoning like rosemary and mint is normally guilty free when it comes to a healthy diet. But when it comes to salt the message is clear – less is more when it comes to heart health.

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