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New survey shows the UK is still addicted to salt
New survey reveals Brits are so addicted to salt, we even add it to takeaways
A new survey by LoSalt has shown the extent of the UK’s taste for salt, and how little people know about its link with blood pressure.
2,000 adults aged 18 and over took part in the survey which showed that eight out of ten add salt to their food either while cooking or at the table, unaware that it’s the biggest cause of high blood pressure. One in eight even add salt to microwave meals and takeaways even though they’re already excessively high in salt – some contain more than a day’s worth.
The results show that as a nation we have no idea how much salt we’re eating. On average, those who took part believed that they eat just 3.2g a day but in reality we eat more like 8g, well over the healthy recommended maximum of less than 6g a day.
A lack of awareness around blood pressure and health
Two thirds of responders didn’t know their blood pressure numbers, and a quarter of 45 to 54 year olds haven’t had their blood pressure checked in the past five years. This is one of the age groups most at risk of heart problems, and as high blood pressure has no symptoms, getting regular checks is essential.
Without treatment, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Many are disengaged when it comes to salt and their health
Many responders (29%) didn’t understand why eating a lot of salt and fat could be harmful. But more worrying was that almost half (44%) wouldn’t stop using salt regardless of the consequences for health.
LoSalt promote prevention over cure
LoSalt, who led the survey, make a seasoning that you can use instead of salt. It has a salty flavour to enhance the taste of food, just like regular salt, but contains far less sodium – the part of salt that raises blood pressure. It contains potassium instead.
If salt intake fell by a third it would prevent 8,000 premature deaths and save the NHS over £500 million annually. But there is currently little Government action on meeting this target.
Caroline Klinge, Sales and Marketing Director at LoSalt explains:
“It’s clear from our research that consumers still remain reluctant to reduce the quantity of salt in their diet regardless of government recommendation. Salt still continues to be a firm seasoning favourite in the UK, but by seasoning with sense and using an alternative reduced sodium salt solution such as LoSalt, it will help maintain normal blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke without compromising on taste.”
Katharine Jenner, CEO of Blood Pressure UK says:
“This survey shows just how much people still don’t understand about food and their blood pressure. What’s more worrying is the apparent lack of interest. As a culture and a country we are relying far too much on processed foods which are high in salt and fat, and not enough on fresh healthy meals based on fruit, vegetables and wholegrains.
“The high blood pressure epidemic is now affecting younger people, we have yet another wake-up call for the Government, the food industry, healthcare providers, communities and individuals to get educated and motivated to change our diets.
“We fully support the use of low sodium alternatives to salt such as LoSalt and, even better, using less salt overall to let go of our collective taste for unhealthy, salty food.”
The survey revealed a few surprising misunderstandings about blood pressure
- 40 per cent don’t know that heavy drinking can cause high blood pressure
- a third don’t know that smoking and lack of exercise will also put you at risk of high blood pressure
- 10% of 25 to 34 year olds think ‘eating too many vegetables’ would put them at risk
- 7% of men believe that having ‘too much sex’ causes high blood pressure
Find all you need to know about diet and your blood pressure.