Letter-to-editor by Heart Foundation Victoria CEO Diana Heggie and VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter
Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO
First published in Sunraysia Daily, 13 July 2016
One in 20 deaths in Victoria is attributable to high salt intake - that’s six times the annual road toll.
Clearly this needs to change and our new campaign “Don’t Trust Your Taste Buds” urges Victorians to trust the label and not their taste buds when it comes to identifying hidden salt in processed foods.
It is particularly important given the Australian Health Policy Collaboration this week released its Australian Health Tracker, which found one in two Australians have a chronic disease and identified a need for a reduction of population salt intake.
A staggering 75 per cent of the salt we eat is hiding in everyday items like breads, cereals and sauces and without knowing it we are consuming almost twice the amount of salt recommended.
"Your taste buds might not even taste the salt and foods that we think of as sweet are some of the biggest salt shockers – like pancakes, crumpets and sweet sauces like barbecue and sweet chilli."
Other popular items like canned soups, deli meats and even family favourites like two minute noodles, baked beans and tinned spaghetti are stacked with salt.
One of the worst offenders is a muffin which is a regular sweet treat – but one muffin can contain one quarter of an adult’s maximum daily salt intake and over a third of a child’s.
Too much salt increases the risk of high blood pressure - a leading cause of death and disability in Victoria.
So remember, just because something doesn’t taste salty, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have salt in it.
For shopping and cooking tips to help you slash the salt visit Unpack The Salt
Heart Foundation Victoria CEO Diana Heggie and VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter