World Salt Awareness Week February 29 – March 6

Words: Crush

Did you know that 75% of the salt that we eat is hidden in the food we buy? This week (February 29 – March 6) is World Salt Awareness Week and it’s a chance to look at exactly what you are consuming and how you can reduce your salt intake.

Your first step is to buy smart and one of the easiest ways to do this is to add low-sodium fresh mushrooms to your daily shopping list.

The Heart Foundation of SA estimates that up to 1 in 3 adults have raised blood pressure levels, a key risk factor for heart disease. And as a high salt intake is an established risk factor for increased blood pressure, it is of great concern that South Africans consume too much salt. At an average 6-11 g per day it is more than double the recommended amount1. The global maximum salt limit is 5 g per day

Many of us know that eating too much salt is bad for our health and are actively looking to reduce the amount we eat. And here’s the good news: One of the best low-sodium food choices you can make is fresh mushrooms.

Mushrooms are delicious, affordable, versatile, in the fresh food aisles 24/7 and angelically low in sodium. In fact, mushrooms contain only 14 mg of sodium per 100 g! When considering that a low salt diet allows 400-1000 mg sodium per day, the low sodium content of fresh mushrooms is even more impressive!

And how do mushrooms reduce our need for salt? They’re the kings of that delectable 5th taste, umami. The same deliciousness that is found in products such as beef broth, anchovies, parmesan cheese, tomatoes and black beans, to name a few.

But mushrooms not only deliver plenty of umami on their own, they actually intensify the umami of the other ingredients, an effect called ‘synergy’. This means that by adding mushrooms to just about any savoury dish, everything else in the dish will taste even better!

So, when next in the supermarket, choose low sodium mushrooms and make sure that you exercise your responsibility by reading food labels and choosing foods with less salt.

The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association joins World Action On Salt and Health (WASH) during World Salt Awareness Week in the global call for more action from governments, the food industry, catering sectors, health professionals and the general public.

We can all do our bit to #EatLessSalt and to get you started here are 3 delicious recipes to start you on your way.


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