YMCA Healthy Living Magazine, powered by n4 food and health SPRING 2019 - Page 19
SIAN ARMSTRONG APD
Accredited Practising Dietitian, Sian Armstrong, works as a Food and Nutrition
Advisor at the Heart Foundation. For the past few years Sian has been working on
Unpack the Salt - a large scale salt reduction project involving consumer
awareness, food industry liaison and Government advocacy.
Busting salt myths with the Heart Foundation’s dietitian Sian Armstrong.
alt has been part of the human diet for thousands of
years, and yet for something so small, it can be hugely
controversial. This is most likely due to conflicting
information in the media, which has led to many myths and
misconceptions. With Australians consuming nearly double
the recommended maximum daily salt intake, it’s time to bust
these myths once and for all. most Australians are consuming a whopping 9g of salt every
day – that’s nearly double the recommended daily maximum
of 5g! So even if you do reduce your salt intake, it is highly
unlikely you will be consuming too little. By basing your diet
on fresh unprocessed food, your body will get enough
naturally-occurring salt, without overdoing it and putting
your health at risk.
Are gourmet salts healthy? I need more salt after I exercise to replace the
This is without a doubt the number one question asked about
salt. Gourmet salts like pink Himalayan, rock, and charcoal are
frequently marketed as healthier alternatives to regular table
salt, but in reality, all types of salt contain the same amount of
It is the sodium in salt that can be damaging to health, so too
much of ANY type of salt can lead to high blood pressure,
increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. While gourmet
salts do contain some minerals that table salt doesn’t, these
minerals are present in tiny amounts. It’s much better to eat
fresh vegetables to get these minerals rather than sourcing
them from salt.
Salt is natural and reducing it will hurt my body.
The body certainly does need some salt to function, but only a
very small amount – about 1-2g per day. To put this in context,
You only lose a small amount of salt in sweat. Unless you are
an elite athlete or exercising in extreme heat for more than an
hour, drinking water and eating a regular meal is a perfectly
adequate way to rehydrate.
Food has no taste without salt.
This is a misconception many people are adamant about, but
it couldn’t be further from the truth. Your tastebuds may have
become accustomed to the taste of salt, but it only takes a
few weeks for them to adapt to a reduced intake. In the
meantime, there are so many delicious ‘salternatives’ you can
use to flavour your food. Think herbs and spices like lemon,
chilli, garlic, rosemary, or cardamom – the list is endless!
Visit unpackthesalt.com.au for recipes, salternatives and
more information about salt.
SPRING 2019 YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE