HEALTH experts on Wearside are urging people to cut down on the amount of salt they eat.
Too much salt can lead to higher blood pressure and an increased chance of having a stroke or getting heart disease.
Men are particularly being urged to reduce their salt intake because research has show they have more than women.
Tracy Webb, senior specialist dietitian at Sunderland Royal Hospital, says that cutting down on the amount of salt we eat is becoming more important.
She said: “The recommended amount is 6g a day but the evidence we have is that on average it’s usually 9g a day.”
A high-salt diet is also linked to osteoporosis, kidney disease and stomach cancer.
Tracy says that men should get used to checking food labels more carefully, with tinned goods often being high in salt.
The green sign on food labels indicates a low level of salt.
“We need to reduce salt intake gradually,” Tracy said.
“There are large amounts in processed foods, so instead of using jars of pasta sauce use natural ingredients.
“It’s much better getting used to having less salt in your diet, although it will taste different at first.”
Research has found that about three quarters of the salt people eat is hidden in food.
Tracy also backed the Echo’s Tackling Men’s Health campaign, by telling Wearside men to ditch salty treats for healthier options more often.
“Among the biggest culprits are pizzas and pies, so there’s nothing wrong with looking to cut down on them,” she said.
The Tackling Men’s Health campaign is urging Wearside’s male population to think about their health and take steps to improve their lifestyle.
The drive is being supported by Sunderland AFC, City Hospitals Sunderland and Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust.
Black Cats’ chairman Niall Quinn has given his backing to the campaign, as well as players Bolo Zenden and Jordan Henderson.