Do you taste your food before lathering it in salt?


Salt in food or table salt is in the chemical form of sodium chloride.

High salt and sodium intake can increase blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, increasing the risk for heart disease and also diabetes. Risk factors contributing to high blood pressure are increased BMI (overweight and obesity), tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

This co-morbidity has been flagged in the COVID-19 pandemic, as a serious risk factor for fatalities. Statistically, South Africa has a very high prevalence of Hypertension (high blood pressure). In an effort to try and control the epidemic, we are one of the only countries in THE WORLD who has had implement sodium legislation. This legislation places restrictions on the amount of salt the food industry can add to our processed food products.

Your body has an average of 5 litres of blood which travels within your vascular system (arteries, veins and capillaries). Diets that are too high in sodium, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and alcohol can contribute to the narrowing of arteries (what we call arteriosclerosis). High blood pressure results from the narrowing of these vessels. Your heart now has to pump much harder (increase the pressure) to push the blood through all your vessels, because they are now much narrower than normal. The result = increased blood pressure.

Sodium is used extensively in the food processing industry for food preservation and flavouring. Processed foods are generally very high in salt. Salt is used as a preservative, and therefore it is almost always added to processed foods or anything that’s pre-prepared. The sodium content is listed in the nutritional information tables on food products. Have a look at the sodium content of your next ready-made meals, canned foods, pre-made sauces, soups, dips, or any other convenience meal or product.

There are very few supermarket products that are sodium free. It’s added to everything! And consequently, very quickly you are consuming much more salt daily than you would like to be. We challenge you to become more aware of the quantity of sodium you are consuming.

Look at food labels (quantities per 100g):

  • Low sodium foods: <120mg
  • Medium sodium foods: 120-600mg
  • High sodium foods: >600mg of sodium

Food Product

Sodium content/100g or /100ml

Soya sauce




All Gold Tomato sauce


2-minute noodles


Lays chips


Beef Biltong Snap sticks


Smooth Peanut Butter


Moroccan chicken fillets


Cheddar Cheese


Roast Chicken and Bacon Wrap


Roast chicken pie




Parmesan Cheese




Butter Chicken Soup


Woolworths club pizza


The recommendation is to consume 2400mg or less of sodium per day for optimum hypertension prevention. This is a mere 5g (1 teaspoon of salt) per day!!

Ways to decrease salt intake:

  • Flavour food with herbs, spices, garlic, lemon, chilli, vinegar and ginger instead of salt and stock powders.
  • Taste your food before adding table salt
  • Use half the amount of stock required by recipe’s
  • Choose low sodium soya sauce
  • Reduce the amount of convenience food and fast foods you are consuming. These are generally excessively high in salt 
  • Choose unmarinated meats
  • Choose unprocessed foods as far as possible
  • Avoid using artificial flavourings like Aromat
  • Look out for high salt ingredients in ingredient lists
  • Choose snacks lower in sodium
  • Choose low sodium foods