High consumption of salt is a well-established risk factor for high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, and reducing intakes would significantly benefit public health. Statistics from the World Health Organisation show that in the UAE and KSA, 19.1%1 and 24.2%2 of their respective populations suffer from high blood pressure, and it recommends limiting salt intake to no more than 5g of salt daily1. Current intakes of salt are high - for example, intakes in Bahrain have been reported to be 300% of the recommended daily allowance.3 High use of table salt, spices, and pickles and the salinity of water in some countries all contribute to the high intake of salt4.
Dietary Guidelines for the Arab Gulf highlight the fact that many traditional dishes, as well as canned and fast foods, contain high amounts of salt, and that to achieve a low intake of salt people should consume fresh foods and foods normally processed without salt, and minimize or avoid adding salt to food. If salt is used, it should be iodised5.
Food manufacturers are being challenged across the globe to help reduce salt intakes by reducing the amount of salt contained in their foods. Reducing salt levels in manufactured foods is technically challenging, however breakfast cereal manufacturers have achieved considerable success in the field over the last decade.
Kellogg’s have made significant reductions to salt levels in our breakfast cereals, including at least 50% in all major brands since 1999. In 2010, we had already reduced sodium in Kellogg’s® Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies® and CocoPops® by 30%. Most recently we have reduced sodium in Kellogg’s® Special K® Flakes and All-Bran® by 11%.
Even in countries where consumption is high, e.g. the UK, the contribution of breakfast cereals to daily salt intake is low, supplying just 2% of adult and around 3-4% of children’s intakes respectively.6
To find out how much salt is in a manufactured food check the nutrition label – look for salt or sodium levels per serving.