Although our bodies need salt, it can be dangerous when it is taken in excess. This is the case in France, where the daily intake is in the vicinity of 8.7 g for men and 6.7 g for women and children, when the WHO recommends we do not exceed an intake of 5 g per day.
A salt-free diet, as its name infers, involves reducing salt content. “In normal food, 5 g of salt is sufficient per day. However, very often in France, people have an intake of 10 g or more per day” explains Prof Claude Le Feuvre, cardiologist. Yet, in some cases (heart failure, high blood pressure, and corticosteroid therapy) too much salt becomes dangerous. This is when it must be reduced. “You must put an end to the reflex of resalting your food and learn to know the foods that can contain a lot of salt to avoid them”, he continues.
In France, salt intake chiefly comes from 3 sources: roughly 1.5 g through salt naturally present in food, 2 g through salt added when cooking or at table, 3.5 g through salt present in industrially prepared food. You should be aware that a salt free diet that is “well prescribed and followed can replace medical treatment or reduce doses”, explains Dr Agnès Mouton-Gensburger, endocrinologist and nutritionist.