Don’t take your health like a grain of salt
For many years, Nestle has been committed to constantly improving the nutritional benefits and taste of our products. In 2013, we pledged to accelerate salt reduction across all of our products to help consumers achieve the World Health Organization's recommended intake of no more than five grams of salt per person per day by 2025.
Salt is often used as a seasoning for meats and is important for food preservation and texture. Increased intake of sodium puts you at risk for high blood pressure, which increases your risk of developing adverse consequences like heart disease and stroke. Sodium is naturally found in foods such as milk, meat and fish; and salt is one of the oldest and most traditional ways to bring taste to food. However, I am inclined to state that most dietary sodium comes from the salt added to foods, during home cooking as well as at the table.
THREE THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO
1. Find the time
to cook at home
Preparing meals at home is one of the best ways to fully control the quality, quantity and
nutritional value of the ingredients. You can also use it as a pleasure-bonding moment by getting the children involved. Use this time as an educational opportunity to expose them to various cooking techniques, food choices, the diversity of tastes and the wide array of flavours that food contains that, hopefully, they will embrace as they grow. Cooking at home can contribute to building good eating habits for you and your family:
- You are able to manage the ingredients that are added. Choose fresh ingredients and limit the use of fats, added sugars and sodium as much as possible.
- It allows you to personalise the portion sizes to meet the nutrient needs of each of your family members, preventing over consumption while optimising their nutrient intake.
2. Read your food labels carefully
At Nestle, we are passionate about nutrition, health and wellness and we want to support our consumers in making better, more informed food and beverage choices for themselves and their families. We know that consumers often find reading food labels difficult, but it is important to keep in mind that how you eat is just as important as what you eat. Food labels provide information such as the nutrition facts table, ingredient list and allergens that may pose a health risk to some consumers, of which it is important to be aware of. One important feature on the food label is the Nutrition Facts Table which details nutrients that you should be aware of - like those high in sugars, fats and sodium. When comparing one product to another, it is best to use the 'PER 100g' as prepared or PER 100ml as not all portion sizes are the same.
You can use the nutrition facts to:
- Compare products more easily.
- Find out the nutritional value of foods.
- Better manage special diets (low in sodium, sugars and fats).
- Increase or decrease your intake of a particular nutrient dependent on your need(s).
3. Know and watch your problems
A portion has different meanings to different people. To some, it represents a full meal while to others, it may be a single unit of a given food - like an apple or a cheese sandwich. At NestlÈ, we are accelerating portion guidance across our portfolio with the aim of providing portion guidance for all our kid and family products by 2016. We want to support parents as best as possible to make more informed decisions when they purchase, prepare, serve and consume our products. We are doing it through our pack design, with clear illustrations and/or sometimes with a serving device - like a scoop.
At Nestle, we want to help consumers understand how to have a healthy and balanced diet. Our objective with portion guidance is to make 'eating the right amount at the right frequency' as easy and intuitive as possible for consumers so that they can consume the brands they love responsibly. Helping our consumers to eat and drink appropriate amounts will help to combat some of the major public health issues of our time, such as overweight and obesity.