Unearthing the salt hidden in your diet

Hypertension is one of the top 10 causes of death in South Africa, according to data from Statistics South Africa.

The Nutrition Information Centre at Stellenbosch University warns that a diet high in salt can increase your risk of stomach cancer, kidney failure and high blood pressure or hypertension.

According to estimates by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa the average South African consumes between six and 11 grams of salt a day.

The World Health Organisation recommends that people consume about 5g of salt (about one teaspoon) daily.

If left unchecked, hypertension can lead to heart attacks, strokes and aneurysms, among other complications, according to the nonprofit Mayo Clinic in the United States.

You may know about the usual suspects such as bread, margarine and breakfast cereals that can harbour large amounts of salt, but here are five lesser-known culprits that could be fuelling your salt consumption without you even knowing it:

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Ina Skosana
Ina Skosana was a health reporter at Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian’s centre for health journalism, from 2013 to 2017.

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