Salt and Fat...a small win for consumers

6 Apr 2011 4:49 PM - At least it's a step in the right direction

The Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Aging, today announced major Australian food manufacturers and retailers will introduce a voluntary 15% reduction in the sodium content of certain simmer sauces and processed meats along with a reduction by 10% of the saturated fat content of some cooked/smoked sausages and luncheon meats 

The reduction in sodium content will occur by the end of 2014 and the reduction in saturated fat by the end of 2013. 

Both saturated fat and sodium (which is found in table salt) are considered to be major contributors to a variety of diseases including high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease and cardiovascular disease. 

As a naturopath, I am regularly advising clients about ways to improve their health through improved nutrition and lifestyle.  Generally, my advice would be to avoid or minimise use of these types of products (can you call them foods?) because of their salt, sugar or fat content.  However, occassionally they might come in handy so it is great to see manufacturers looking at ways to make them somewhat less unhealthy.  The reductions are not large and they don't come in to effect for another couple of years and it remains to be seen whether they add something else (sugar?) to the recipes to compensate for the perceived loss of flavour but hopefully it is a step in the right direction. 

As I said, I'm not really a fan of these types of products because of all the things added in (over and above a few vegetables and spices...just look at the list of ingredients).  My preference would be to just use fresh vegetables and spices in the first place and add your own salt to taste if you need to.  It's a much healthier option and your taste buds, heart and arteries will thank you! 

To your good health,


Kaye Wright