‘Why is it that salt content doesn't appear to rate a mention in comments about diet and diabetes? I have found a number of breakfast cereals and breads proudly displaying a low GI symbol but containing as much as 5 times the recommended maximum amount of salt.’
There are many low GI claims on foods and various corporate symbols. Unfortunately, they are currently not regulated in Australia or elsewhere although this may change in the near future. As such, there are no criteria to limit low GI claims to healthier foods and buyers should beware. However, the GI Symbol Program, and its Glycemic Index Tested logo, has been established in Australia to help people identify the healthier lower GI choices. One of the nutrient criteria that enables a food to carry the official Glycemic Index Tested logo is for sodium. The cut-offs for each food category have been set to ensure only foods or drinks with reduced amounts of sodium are allowed to be part of the program.
To make a low salt claim in Australia, a food must not contain more than 120 mg of sodium per 100 g. Unfortunately, very few processed foods are able to meet this classification for a variety of reasons, so this claim is pretty rare. It’s important to note that this is not a recommended maximum amount as such, but a guide to help people choose low salt foods. The upper recommended level of sodium for Australian adults is 2,300 mg per day. The amount people actually consume depends on both the amount of sodium per 100 g of food and the serve size – both factors are equally important. To choose the healthiest low GI alternatives within a food group, simply look for the Glycemic Index Tested logo.
Alan Barclay, CEO, Glycemic Index Ltd
Phone: +61 2 9785 1037
Fax: +61 2 9785 1037