This chapter emphasizes the health outcomes connected with excessive salt consumption and focuses on possibilities to reduce dietary salt intake. The biggest reductions in salt consumption in the population could be achieved by comprehensive strategies involving population-wide policies (regulation, mandatory reformulation and food labelling). Salt reduction policies include the baseline identification of population’s salt consumption and major sources of salt in the diet, reformulation of a set number of products available on the market and increased awareness and knowledge on salt reduction at an individual level, creating an environment for salt reduction and the promotion of ‘healthy food’. Innovative reformulation by food industry, therefore, has the potential to contribute substantially. Flavours of processed foods could be improved by partially replacing salt with salt substitutes and flavour enhancers. One of the approaches of salt reduction is ‘gradual reduction without the consumer’s knowledge’, which refers to the observation that people in general are unable to differentiate between two substances in which the difference in salt content is low. It is suggested that increased knowledge and appropriate promotion of healthy food and healthy dietary habits, especially in early childhood in kindergartens, schools and at home, are the most promising measures for salt reduction.
Part of the book: Salt in the Earth