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Last Updated: Monday, 13 September, 2004, 05:31 GMT 06:31 UK
Scots urged to 'hide salt cellar'
Salt cellar
Too much salt poses health risks
Campaigners are urging people in Scotland to eat less salt and instead opt for a healthier diet.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said heart disease and strokes could be reduced by cutting down on salt.

The recommended daily limit for adults is six grams, but research shows many people eat more than double that.

FSA Scotland's Jim Thomson said people should think before adding salt to their food and said "hiding the salt cellar" was one possible solution.

High salt intake is linked to the "silent killer" of high blood pressure, which affects about a third of the population in Scotland.

Do not add salt at the table - use flavourings like herbs and spices
If you have time, bake your own bread
Make your own stock instead of using stock cubes
When buying tinned vegetables, go for brands with no added salt
Avoid crisps and salted peanuts
Go easy on bacon, sausages and takeaway foods
Check food labels - anything with less than 0.2 grams of sodium per hundred grams is fine
Food containing more than half a gram of sodium per hundred grams should be avoided

The campaign aims to persuade people to be more health conscious when preparing food.

Mr Thomson said: "When you're at home, you add salt. Instead, hide the salt cellar.

"If you're out for a meal, don't take salt.

"When you're actually buying products, either to cook or make meals, read the labels because there is information on them on salt intake.

"By that, you as an individual then take control of your salt intake."

Salt raises blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.

It has also been linked to stomach cancer, osteoporosis and kidney problems.

The government recommends salt consumption of no more than six grams per day (three grams or less for children), but most adults consume about 12g.

Scots grow more health conscious
24 Feb 04  |  Scotland
Popular foods 'loaded with salt'
08 Jul 04  |  Health
Recipe for a healthier Scotland
07 Jan 03  |  Scotland

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