Irish chef and cook book author Brian McDermott, who teaches community groups across Ireland how to cook healthily, today warned of the dangers of excess salt in the Irish diet as a new World Health Organisation (WHO) in Europe report entitled “Mapping salt reduction initiatives in the WHO European Region” is published.
|Community Chef Brian McDermott is urging people to cut down on their salt usage|
Brian’s warning to the public to reduce their intake of salt follows a health scare a few years ago when, after 17 years of working as a professional chef, he had to quit work suddenly because of severely blocked arteries and dangerous levels of blood pressure and cholesterol.
|Reduce your salt intake to 1 teaspoon (5g) per day|
|Mapping salt reduction initiatives in the WHO European Region
published this week by the World Health Organisation
He says that the latest report from the WHO shows that 80% of salt intake in the European Union comes from processed foods such as cheese, bread and ready meals. “Many people consume far more salt than they realize, with negative results for their blood pressure and general cardiovascular health. This is why you need to check the salt levels on the labels of all processed foods.” he added.
According to the World Health Organisation the High Salt/High Risk foods which contain hidden salt are bread, meat products, cheese, ready meals, soup, breakfast cereals, fish products, crisps and savoury snacks, catering meals, restaurant meals, sauces, condiments and spices and processed potato products.
Brian says he will continue to promote awareness on keeping salt intake to a minimum. Through his cookery classes and demonstrations, people can learn how to take simple steps to reduce their risk of high blood pressure, stroke & cholesterol.
“By eating a balance diet, reducing salt intake to less than 5g a day, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, reducing levels of alcohol consumption and stress you can live a longer, better life,” says Brian. “I believe my problems were all down to stress and diet. It’s amazing how a few simple adjustments in your life can make you feel so much better.”