Ahead of World Salt Awareness Week (12 – 18 March), dietitian Susie Burrell is calling on Australians to be aware of how much salt they consume.
The average Australian is consuming 9.6 grams of salt each day, double the World Health Organisation’s maximum daily recommendation of 5 grams.
Reducing our salt intake is easy if you’re aware of what’s in the food you’re eating.
“Australians are consuming worrying levels of salt, but it’s an easy fix if you’re aware of what’s in the food you’re eating. Swapping to lower salt food options is one of the best ways to make positive changes to your diet, so it’s essential to read the labels of packs and make comparisons between brands,” Susie Burrell says.
Susie Burrell suggests learning to read the labels of packs and make comparisons between brands.
Here, Susie puts the spotlight on a common pantry item, wraps.
“Not all wraps are the same, and the market’s leading brand contains high levels of salt,” Susie notes.
A team of researchers from the University of Newcastle undertook an evidence-based analysis of 22 of Australia’s top selling wraps brands and found some of the top sellers, which are often considered healthy options, are packed with salt and contain artificial preservatives.
The study found Helga’s Traditional White and Mixed Grain wraps contain 40% less salt than the market leading wrap and no artificial preservatives.
It’s for this reason Susie is urging people to check and understand food labels and what they’re consuming:
“Wraps that contain around 600mg of sodium per 100g or less are considered to be moderate in salt according to the UK Food Standards Agency. Steer clear of anything over 600mg of sodium per 100g3 as that’s considered to be high in salt,” explains Susie.
But lower in salt doesn’t have to mean bland. Here, Susie presents a delicious, lower-salt recipes using Helga’s wraps to try at home.
Thai salmon cakes and salad wraps
4 Helga’s Mixed Grain Wraps
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 green chilli, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
2 tbsp shredded coconut
500g skinless pin boned fresh salmon, roughly chopped
1 egg white
1 tbsp cornflour
60g green beans, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
Olive oil spray
Sweet chilli sauce, lime wedges, to serve
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into thin strips
2 cups shredded cabbage (red or green)
1 cup bean sprouts, trimmed
½ cup Thai basil or mint leaves
Place chilli, garlic, ginger and coconut in a food processor, process until finely chopped. Add the salmon, pulse until finely chopped. Add the egg white and cornflour, pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the beans and coriander. Shape mixture into small cakes (about 2 tablespoons per cake) using wet hands.
Preheat fan forced oven to 160°C. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray both sides of the salmon cakes with oil, cook in batches for 2 minutes on each side until golden, transfer to a baking tray. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and transfer to a tray.
Combine all the salad ingredients together. Place wraps onto a board. Top with salad and salmon cakes. Drizzle with a little sweet chilli sauce and a squeeze of lime. Roll the wrap to secure the filling.
Photo and recipe: Hausmann Communications