Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Policing the Salt

from w
Good to see that the hospitals in Fiji are noticing that diet is very important for patients - and everyone in Fiji - especially the over-use of salt, sugar, fats. Our household now has a salt police (that's me) to try and change our way of thinking about the food we prepare and eat. That means less salt, sugar, fats and we can still have tasty meals with a bit of chillies, garlic, and spices!

From Fiji Sun news today:
Hospitals to cut salt, sugar intake
A 20 per cent reduction in the purchase and consumption of salt and sugar in the country's State hospitals has been ordered by the Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma. He said low salt and sugar initiatives in the Hospital setting have been undertaken.

"I have directed a 20 per cent reduction in the purchase and consumption of both items to address the Non Communicable disaster we are facing in Fiji," he said. "Taste is an acquired process and can be unlearned over some time," he added. He advised dieticians and nutritionists at the country's hospitals to alter flavour. "Flavour can be altered with chillies, herbs and lemon slices which we can cultivate in our own hospital gardens which you are directly in charge of," he told participants at a national workshop.

About 50 nutritionists and dieticians are attending a workshop on nutrition at the Studio 6 motel in Suva.

He praised hospitals that have taken the initiative to plant their own gardens to assist in the provision of food and vegetables to patients. "Some of our health establishments have taken the concept to heart and gardens are thriving with roots, vegetables and fruits," Dr Sharma said. "I am aware of the weather differences and the seasonal nature of growing food but the concept can be successfully developed for even inter-hospital transfer of crop in some areas," he added. He also highlighted the urgent need for dieticians and nutritionists to improve the quality and presentation of meals they serve to patients.
The information coming out about salt is staggering - too much salt is as bad as smoking for your health! This is from the Channel Nine website:
Salt - it's the deadly food addiction that's claiming the lives of 2000 Australians every year. According to nutritionists the amount of salt we’re eating, on average more than 10 times the recommended daily allowance, is killing more of us than smoking.

So which foods contain the most salt?

Sometimes the worst offenders aren't the most obvious. Breads, cereals, sauces and canned savoury goods, like soups, are surprisingly high in salt.

Some quick salt facts:

• Half a pizza contains four grams of salt - your total daily allowance.

• 100 grams of ham contains four to five grams of salt.

• A bowl of low fat cereal and a couple of slices of toast will add up to half of your recommended daily salt intake.

• A quarter of all the salt we consume is in our bread.

Top tips for cutting back on salt in your diet:

• Don't add any salt to food you're cooking or at the table.

• Choose reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals.

• Cut back on processed foods.

• Cut back on takeaway and fast foods.

• Buy fresh vegetables rather than canned. • Buy "low salt" (contains less than 120mg/100g) or "salt free" versions of commonly ready-made sauces.

• Use herbs and spices, instead of salt, to add flavour to meals.

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