What to do to reduce salt consumption according to the Ministry of Health and why is it important not to take more than this amount per day? Salt is known to be bad for you. But too often it is abused without realizing it, out of ignorance or a tendency to underestimate the risk. The guidelines for healthy eating of CREA, whose last revision dates back to 2018, underline the consequences of a habitual excessive consumption of salt. Such as the increased risk of stomach cancer and osteoporosis. Or that of contracting serious cardio-vascular diseases related to the increase in blood pressure. Various associations and government bodies have moved to create initiatives aimed at informing the population about the importance of consuming the right dose of salt. Suffice it to say that there is even a World Awareness Week for the reduction of salt consumption, promoted by World Action on Salt & Health (WASH) and which this year was held from 8 to 14 March.
Our Ministry of Health has promoted or supported various initiatives. The most recent is the National Prevention Plan 2020-2025 provides a strategic line for the reduction of salt consumption. So as to promote a feeding room and prevent chronic non-communicable diseases.
What to do to reduce salt consumption according to the Ministry of Health and why it is important not to take more than this amount per day
The WHO (World Health Organization) has expressed itself on the daily consumption of salt, advising consumers not to take more than 5 grams per day. The equivalent of a teaspoon. We had already talked about the our pages. In Italy, consumption for the head (per person) of salt is 10-15 grams per day.
But there are several ways to get salt or sodium when eating. Both the CREA document and the official website of the Ministry of Health explain this. Approximately 35% is the salt that is added to meals when cooking at home. 50% is that contained in processed and / or preserved products. The minor amount is 15% of the sodium contained in the natural state in some foods. Precisely for this reason there are several precautions to be taken to reduce the consumption of salt.
The role of institutions in reducing salt consumption
The intuition of one of the documents that the Ministry of Health dedicates to the subject is the attention paid to the role of institutions, which should aim to raise awareness of the population and “all subjects of the agro-food chain”, with the aim of reducing the excess salt content in products on the market. A certain importance is also given to guaranteeing the training of food sector operators starting from the hotel establishments. As well as the dissemination of knowledge and understanding of nutrition labeling placed on food products, so as to allow consumers to make informed choices on what to buy. Emphasis is also placed on the need to encourage collective catering (think school canteens and workplaces) to propose alternative low-salt meals.
What individual citizens can do
Consumers should consult food labeling and prefer to purchase products with a salt content of less than 0.3 g per 100 g (corresponding to 0.12 sodium). It is a good idea to substitute, where necessary, iodized salt in minimal quantities for the table salt used routinely. Also, prefer spices to high-sodium condiments like bouillon cubes and dips. Green light for sage, basil, turmeric, lemon juice or vinegar to flavor foods. And these are just some of the possible examples: here it is others.
It is also advisable to reduce the consumption of salt-rich processed foods, such as potato chips, some meats and cheeses, and canned foods. It is also important to pay attention to the bread consumed, one of the main sources of salt in our diet. In this regard, the Ministry of Health has made public the agreements aimed at gradually reducing the salt inside, which have been signed with Italian bakers through the main trade associations. Assipan, the Italian Federation of Bakers, Confectioners and the like, AIIPA and Assopanificatori Fiesa Confesercenti joined.
If you consume canned vegetables or legumes, rinse them thoroughly before serving. The last recommendation given by the Ministry concerns infants: it is better to avoid putting salt in their meals, especially during the first year of life.