Harriet is an award-winning Dietitian and Health Writer who is registered with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
An alumni of Kings College London, she runs a consultancy helping people to manage their medical conditions and eat healthily by providing evidence-based nutrition advice.
Additionally, she has over six years of experience writing for consumer, industry, and national media and in 2018 was awarded the Complete Nutrition Magazine ‘Writer of the Year’ award.
It’s clear that we’re not doing enough to support consumers to reduce their salt intakes, concerningly, there haven’t been any significant improvements in average salt intakes since 2008. Encouraging consumers to read food labels and providing education on changing salt habits at home and out of the house are two important areas to focus on.
Decreasing the sodium content of manufactured foods is challenging. It can take a number of weeks for the salt taste receptors in the mouth to adapt and this may affect consumer acceptability of reformulated products. We need to be realists – the general public will not stop using salt overnight. It takes time to change deeply-engrained habits and to allow our taste receptors to re-adjust to a new norm.
A good starting point would be to encourage consumers to reduce the amount of added salt used in cooking and at the table, encouraging people to use natural spices, herbs and flavours instead. The use of lower sodium salt alternatives such as potassium salts is another way in which people can reduce their sodium intake at home. Potassium salts are generally considered as safe, however, as highlighted above, clear labelling will be required for a minority of individuals who have been medically advised to limit their potassium intake.
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