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Health Zone: NUTRITION SO HOW MUCH SALT ARE YOU EATING?

Byline: Picture: EMMA CATTELL

WE asked Lisa Laurie, 26, a public-relations executive, and Heather Wakeman, a 23-year-old media planner, both from London, to keep a diary of the food they ate over three days.

Then we analysed its salt content to find out just how much they had consumed.

At the end of the test, nutrition scientist Sarah Schenker of the British Nutrition Foundation, gave her verdict on each of the diaries. And as you can see, the results revealed that Lisa and Heather are eating much more salt than they realised. Government recommendations currently suggest we should consume a maximum of 5-6 grams of salt a day - that's just over one teaspoon.

If you think you might be eating too much, keep your eyes peeled for food labels when you are out shopping.

Many of the preservatives used are derived from sodium compounds like the flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate or the raising agent sodium bicarbonate.

So it's best to stick to fresh, preservative free food whenever you can.HEATHER'S 3-DAY DIARYRecommended: 3tsp

Actual: 6tspDAY ONE

Breakfast: Bowl of cornflakes (0.9g). Orange juice (0.0125g). Herbal tea (0g). Slice of toast with butter (0.6g).

Lunch: Pre-packed white bagel with egg and salad filling (3.5g). Chocolate mousse (0.09g). Strawberry yoghurt (0.08g).

Dinner: Pasta with canned tomato and herb sauce (3.2g). Wholewheat bread x 2 slices (0.8g).

TOTAL: Just under two teaspoons of salt.

DAY TWO

Breakfast: Bowl of branflakes (1g). Orange juice (0.0125g). Herbal tea (0g). Slice of toast with butter (0.5g).

Lunch: Ready made Pitta bread with houmus and salad filling (3.2g). Chocolate chip cookies x 2 (0.5g). Strawberry yoghurt (0.08g).

Dinner: Stir fry with ready made sauce (3.2g) 2 x slice of wholewheat bread (0.8g).

TOTAL: Just under two teaspoons.

DAY THREE

Breakfast: Bowl of bran flakes (1g). Slice of toast with butter (0.6g).

Lunch: Ready made egg and salad sandwich (4.1g). Chocolate mousse (0.09g). Chocolate chip cookies x 3 (0.75g).

Dinner: Pasta with ready made cream sauce (3.1g). Crusty bread rolls x 2 (1.2g).

TOTAL: Just over two teaspoons.

THREE DAY TOTAL: 29.2g or 6 teaspoons. Recommended amount 15g - just under 3 teaspoons.

NUTRITIONIST'S VERDICT

THE Government rates levels of 9 grams a day as way too high and advises cutting them down by one third. So although Heather doesn't eat as much salt as Lisa, she still needs to be careful.LISA'S 3-DAY DIARYRecommended: 3tsp

Actual: 8.5tspDAY ONE

Breakfast: 2 slices of toast with butter and Marmite (2.4g)

Lunch: All-day breakfast sandwich (3.75g). Packet of salt and vinegar crisps (1g). Smoothie drink (0.05g).

Evening meal: Pasta with canned sauce and tuna (3g). White crusty roll with butter (0.6g).

TOTAL SALT: Just over two teaspoons.DAY TWO

Breakfast: 2 slices of toast with butter and Marmite (2.4g). Orange juice (0.0125g).

Lunch: Ham and cheese baguette (4.09g). Salt and vinegar crisps (1g). Orange juice (0.0125g). Smoothie (0.05g).

Evening meal: Bowl of fresh minestrone soup from supermarket (2.8g). Pizza (4.6g).

TOTAL SALT: Three teaspoons.

DAY THREE

Breakfast: Two slices of toast with butter and Marmite (2.4g). Orange juice (0.0125g).

Lunch: Salt beef sandwich on rye bread (4.39g). Salt and vinegar crisps (1g). Smoothie (0.05g).

Dinner: Tinned tomato soup with bread (3.3g). Ready meal - shepherds pie - with vegetables (6.2g).

TOTAL SALT: Three and a half teaspoons.

THREE DAY TOTAL: 43.1g in three days. That's 8 and a half teaspoons. Recommended amount 15g is just under 3 teaspoons.

NUTRITIONIST'S VERDICT

>Lisa's intake of salt is way too high and comes mainly from the processed foods she eats. She really needs to reduce her intake by at least half to protect her long-term health.

CAPTION(S):

SALT IT OUT: Heather, far left, and Lisa discovered there is far more salt in their diet than they realised
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 1, 2001
Words:663
Previous Article:Health Zone: NUTRITION: At a pinch..; 25 FOODS THAT EACH PROVIDE YOUR DAILY MAXIMUM INTAKE OF SALT. ANY MORE COULD SERIOUSLY AFFECT YOUR HEALTH.
Next Article:Health Zone: THERE'S MORE IN A SLICE OF BREAD THAN CRISPS. ISN'T IT TIME TO.. Halt the salt.


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