The sodium contained in salt is essential, but a pinch a day is enough. We only need about 1.5 grams of salt a day. However, the daily salt intake of Finnish men is more than nine grams, and that of Finnish women about seven grams per day. About half of this salt is contained in bread, cold cuts and fats, while the other half we sprinkle on our food ourselves. Sodium is the harmful part in salt. A smaller intake of sodium helps you maintain your blood pressure as normal.
Too much sodium
- raises blood pressure, which is a significant risk factor in cardiovascular diseases
- may also be a factor in osteoporosis and kidney stones.
Luckily, your taste buds will quickly adjust to less salt in only a few weeks – why not try it! Read product descriptions and make low-salt options a habit.
How to reduce your salt intake
It's easy to reduce the amount of salt in your daily diet. The best guideline is to get a small pinch of salt from a variety of sources. For example, you can cut the amount of salt in your sandwiches by more than a half.
Take this typical example in which you probably haven't considered the amount of salt you consume.
Six regular open sandwiches (three with cold cuts, three with cheese) contain a total of 6 g of salt. The bread contains 1.2% salt, the spread 1.5%, the cold cuts 2.0% and the cheese 1.9%.
An alternative with less salt:
Six low-salt open sandwiches contain a total of 2.8g of salt. The bread contains 0.7% salt, the spread 0.5%, the cold cuts 1.2% and the cheese 0.7%.
The salt content of food
Many common foodstuffs contain large quantities of salt. What's important is how much of them you use when cooking. Read the package labels!
Beef stock cube 51%
Fish fumet 18%
Soy sauce 15%
Canned anchovies 10%
Cold-smoked reindeer 4.8%
Roe paste 4%
Feta cheese 3.5%
Blue cheese 4.5%
Cold-smoked rainbow trout 4%
Herring approx. 4–10%
Bacon, fried 3.5%
Crisps 1.5 %