If it’s packed, chances are it’s packed with salt. Last week the Heart Foundation launched an awareness campaign about the excessive amount of hidden salt in processed foods. Can you help spread the word?

The campaign website unpackthesalt.com.au has some great tips, recipes and campaign materials.

For example, the top 10 salt shockers are:

1.    Bread

2.    Cooking sauces

3.    Ready meals

4.    Processed meats

5.    Dips and crackers

6.    Dressings and condiments

7.    Pizza

8.    Cheese

9.    Baked goods

10.  Aussie favourites: baked beans, instant noodles etc.

The four top tips to cut down salt are:

1.    Read the labels – (and look out for ‘no salt’, ‘low salt’ or ‘reduced salt’)

2.    Choose the right packaged food – e.g. frozen are lower salt over canned

3.    Stop adding salt at the dinner table;

4.    Eat fresh – fresh fruit and veg are naturally low in salt

Other key facts include:

•       Excessive salt intake can be directly linked to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke, heart and kidney disease.

•       Victorians consume almost double the maximum daily salt intake of five grams recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

•       Victorian children eat about 30% more salt than recommended.

•       Around 75% of salt in our diets comes from processed foods like cooking sauces, processed meats and ready meals.

•       Stroke, heart and kidney disease caused by excess salt is preventable.

•       New research has found convenient cooking sauces to be packed with salt. For example, a fresh pasta sauce from the supermarket can contain almost 1/3 of your daily maximum salt intake, with some tomato-based pasta sauces containing 90 times more salt than others.