Processed Food and the Food Industry – Home Cooking and Individual Salt Use

The previous post provided data on the importance of processed food a source of salt intake in different world regions. In Europe, and North America, by far the largest part of salt comes from processed food. (

Processed Food and the Food Industry

The salt content of processed food is much higher than in unprocessed food. The following graph shows the differences for different food types1:

It makes therefor sense to try and reduce salt intake from processed food. Other than personal consumption, the food industry lends itself to regulations. The entire list of ongoing national programs for mandatory and voluntary salt reduction in the food industry is provided below2:

Home Cooking and Individual Salt Consumption

Mandatory or voluntary limits for private salt consumption cannot be monitored, and accordingly do not make sense. The emphasis of reduction programs for the home segment focusses on education and advice on how to reduce salt intake with following measures::

  • Avoid eating out
  • Use spices to improve taste and reduce salt
  • Avoid processed food
  • Use sodium reduced, potassium enriched salt substitute
  • Avoid salting during food preparation

1 D.G. Liem, F. Miremadi, R.S.J. Keast, Reducing sodium in foods: the effect on flavor, Nutrients, 3 (2011), pp. 694-711
2 Webster J, Trieu K, Dunford E, Hawkes C. Target salt 2025: a global overview of national programs to encourage the food industry to reduce salt in foods. Nutrients. 2014 Aug 21;6(8):3274-87.


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