The federal government is encouraging Australians to address the level of sodium in their current diet as part of World Salt Awareness Week.
Australian adults should limit their intake of salt to no more than 6 grams – or one and a half teaspoons – a day, according to the National Health and Medical Research Council.
However, parliamentary secretary for health and ageing Catherine King believes that Australians consume too much sodium – primarily in the form of salt.
"More than three-quarters of the salt we eat comes from manufactured and pre-prepared foods," Ms King said (March 26).
"Excess salt consumption has been linked with an increased risk of high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart attack, kidney disease and stroke."
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), 17 per cent of men and 11 per cent of women currently have five or more risk factors.
Advice on diet and exercise, as well as methods of reducing the risk of chronic disease, may be available through some private health insurance providers.
Ms King highlighted foods such as bread, processed meats, breakfast cereals, cheese and commercially-produced condiments as some of the largest contributors to salt intakes in Australia.