Changing sodium to salt

We are told to cut down on salt but sodium is listed on food labels so how do we convert?

Sodium to salt

To convert sodium to salt, multiply the sodium figure in milligrams (mg) by 2.5 and then divide by 1,000. So: millgrams of sodium X 2.5 = milligrams of salt ÷ 1,000

Eating too much salt increases your risk of developing high blood pressure which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Too much salt is harmful to health

Thanks to the brilliant Dave Smith for this artwork

Too much salt is harmful to health

 News Flash – Food labelling is changing

By December 2014 all food labels will only list salt -sodium will not be listed. This will make it much easier for you to see how much salt each product contains.

 Choose lower salt options using the following guidelines on food labels:

A food high in salt has more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium).

Functions of nutrients

These are the Hover overs used on the Nutrition Program to help you find the function of nutrients. The Program shows you what nutrients are in your recipes.

You need these details for

WJEC Vocational Award Level 1/2 Hospitality and Catering Unit 2 AC1.1 Describe functions of nutrients in the human body 

Energy – Measured in KJ and Kcal. Needed to keep us alive and active.
Protein – Needed for growth and repair, a source of energy.
Carbohydrates – A source of energy.
Total sugars are all types of sugar in food. A source of energy.
Fat – Good source of energy and supplies essential fatty acids that the body can’t make.
Saturated fat – Too much saturated fat can increase the cholesterol in the blood.
Trans fatty acids – These raise the type of cholesterol in the blood that increases the risk of heart disease.
Starch – Polysaccharide made up of glucose units. Used for energy.
Salt – Essential for cells and control of body fluids. Limit intake to 6g a day.
Sodium – Salt is made from sodium chloride.
Total sugars – All types of sugar in the food.
Fibre – Needed to keep the gut healthy and prevent constipation. Non Starch polysaccharide – needed for healthy digestive system.
NSP Fibre Non Starch polysaccharide – needed for healthy digestive system.
AOAC Fibre – Fibre measurement AOAC includes lignin and resistant starch – higher figure than NSP.
Fat soluble vitamins A and D, E
Vitamin A – Needed for growth, development and eyesight. Retinol and Carotene
Vitamin D – Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
Vitamin E – Helps protect cell membranes by acting as an antioxidant.
Water soluble vitamins -B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin),B3 (niacin),B6 (pyridoxine)
Vitamin C – Needed for healthy skin and tissue, and to aid the absorption of iron. Ascorbic acid
Thiamin – Needed for the release of energy from carbohydrates.(B1)
Riboflavin – Helps release energy from carbohydrates.
Niacin – Needed for the release of energy from carbohydrates.
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine – essential for good health and red blood metabolism.
Folate – Prevents neural tube defects in developing embryos. (B9)
Vitamin B12 – for blood cells and nerve function. (cobalamin),
Vitamin K – Helps protect cell membranes by acting as an antioxidant.
Minerals – calcium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, iodine,
Calcium – Helps build strong bones and teeth.
Iron – Helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.
Phosphorus – Helps build strong bones and teeth.
Iodine – Helps make the thyroid hormones and keep metabolic rate healthy
Water – All body functions need water.

Function of Nutrients

Added sugar and snacks

Chart showing where different age groups get their sugar

Snacks containing no more than 100 calories

  • Soreen malt lunchbox loaves (apple, banana or original malt)
  • Petits Filous fromage frais (strawberry and raspberry, strawberry, strawberry and apricot, strawberry and banana)
  • Fruit Shoot hydro water in apple and blackcurrant flavour
  • Fresh or tinned fruit salad
  • Chopped vegetables and lower fat hummus
  • Plain rice cakes or crackers with lower fat cheese
  • Sugar-free jelly
  • One crumpet
  • One scotch pancake

Source: Public Health England

Chart showing daily added sugar intake by age group


Nutritional needs for different age groups

Useful link from BNF

Factors affecting requirements
• Age – the RNI for vitamin C for a child aged 1 year and under is 25mg/d, and for an adult is 40mg/d
• Gender – the RNI for iron in women aged 19-50 years is 14.8mg/d, which is higher than for men (8.7 mg/d) to cover menstrual losses
• Growth – adolescents have higher calcium requirements to cover their bone growth
• Pregnancy and Lactation – The RNI for vitamin D in women that are pregnant or breastfeeding is 10 μg/d, whereas there is no RNI set for women of childbearing age who are not pregnant or breastfeeding.

Infants First 4-6 months of life (period of rapid growth and development) breast milk (or infant formula) contains all the nutrients required.
Between 6-12 months – requirements for iron, protein, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, sodium and chloride increase.
Department of Health advice recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age with weaning introduced at 6 months.
1-3 years Energy requirements increase (children are active and growing rapidly). Protein requirements increase slightly. Vitamins requirements increase (except vitamin D). Mineral requirements decrease for calcium, phosphorus and iron and
increase for the remaining minerals (except for Zinc).
4-6 years Requirements for energy, protein, all the vitamins and minerals increase except C and D and iron.
7-10 years Requirements for energy, protein, all vitamins and minerals increase except thiamin, vitamin C and A.
11-14 years  Requirements for energy continue to increase and protein requirements increase by approximately 50%.
By the age of 11, the vitamin and mineral requirements for boys and girls start to differ.
Boys: increased requirement for all the vitamins and minerals.
Girls: no change in the requirement for thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, but there is an increased requirement for all the minerals. Girls have a much higher iron requirement than boys (once menstruation starts).
15-18 years  Boys: requirements for energy and protein continue to increase as do the requirements for a number of vitamins and minerals (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6, B12, C and A, magnesium,potassium, zinc, copper, selenium and iodine). Calcium requirements remain high as skeletal development is rapid.
Girls: requirements for energy, protein, thiamin, niacin, vitamins B6, B12 and C, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium and iodine all increase.
Boys and girls have the same requirement for vitamin B12, folate, vitamin C, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and copper. Girls have a higher requirement than boys for iron (due to menstrual losses) but a lower requirement for zinc and calcium.
19-50 years Requirements for energy, calcium and phosphorus are lower for both men and women than adolescents and a reduced requirement in women for magnesium, and in men for iron. The requirements for protein and most of the vitamins and minerals remain virtually unchanged in comparison to adolescents (except for selenium in men which increases slightly).
Pregnancy Increased requirements for some nutrients. Women intending to become pregnant and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are advised to take supplements of folic acid. Additional energy and thiamin are required only during the last three months of pregnancy. Mineral requirements do not increase.
Lactation Increased requirement for energy, protein, all the vitamins (except B6), calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and selenium.
50+ years Energy requirements decrease gradually after the age of 50 in women and age 60 in men as people typically become less active and the basal metabolic rate is reduced. Protein requirements decrease for men but continue to increase slightly in women. The requirements for vitamins and minerals remain virtually unchanged for both men and women. After the menopause, women’s requirement for iron is reduced to the same level as that for men. After the age of 65 there is a reduction in energy needs but vitamins and minerals requirements remain unchanged. This means that the nutrient density of the diet is even more important.