March 14th – 20th, 2022

Salt-free Awareness Week First Launched in 2017

In 2017 the Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson granted a proclamation that every year from March 23 to the 30 – the citizens of Ottawa are encouraged to eat salt-free. This is a fun, and healthy, challenge for all! We are asking people to draw upon their resourcefulness and creative competitive nature to try something new. Discover alternative ways to get rid of salt and make this a flavour-filled week!
The week provides an opportunity to disseminate information on wellness and healthier nutritional choices focusing on lessening our daily intake of salt – mostly used for flavor and in the preservation of foods. It is hoped Ottawa area residents will challenge themselves and others around them. A diet with large amounts of salt can lead to serious health issues. Learning how to reduce salt intake is a crucial practice for wellness. Diseases such as kidney disease, heart disease and strokes, and hypertension all require salt-free diets

Why the Challenge?

The problem with salt lies in its amount of sodium content we should have for healthier living.  Unfortunately we are consuming way too much everyday which is compromising wellness and putting us at risk for a chronic illness. Your body needs sodium; however, it only requires trace amounts and most foods naturally have sodium in them, giving us the amount of salt well within the required range.  It’s the hidden amounts of salt that quickly add up to becoming too much for a daily count.  Many Canadians are living with health conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, and heart conditions that require low or sodium free diets.

The goal of the Salt-Free Awareness Week  is to create a challenge and have an opportunity to raise awareness of the need for;  salt-free options in restaurants and food processing; and to prepare the next generation of dieticians, nutritionists, and culinary students for a world with better health – without the pinch of salt.

Salt-Free Canada and Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan)

2017 – Salt-free Canada proposed to Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan) to take the Salt-Free Cooking Challenge across Canada to all the colleges with culinary, nutrition and food processing arts. The purpose was to:
(1) create awareness with a challenge, and
(2) to collect sufficient data to support sodium reduction has an integral role in the curriculum, and
(3) have culinary arts and food processing colleges learn about serious health issues related to consumption of too much sodium, and to recognize the social responsibility of education for the future chefs/food processing students to be leaders in the reduction of sodium in food preparation.

Salt-Free Canada and CICan proposed to Health Canada for funding to prepare a Roundtable in Ottawa to introduce sodium reduction as a curriculum inclusion encouraged by the results from the pilot project to all invited colleges and ask for participation from colleges to become part of a method to reduce sodium in food processing; and collect data from the colleges to support the concept.

2019 – Health Canada approved funding for CICan to proceed with the environmental scan to collect sufficient data to be used to develop a basis to invite all colleges to participate in combining education into a new curriculum.

2020 – The curriculum that was produced by participating colleges was able to fully test the success and acceptance level for the material concerning sodium reduction in food processing.

Rise to the Challenge!

The community of Ottawa and area residents, professional chefs, restaurants and catering services are challenged to participate and celebrate Salt-Free Awareness Week Ottawa!

This week of awareness is in support of chronic illnesses that require salt-free diets to maintain wellness. The chronic illnesses that require a very low sodium/salt restricted diet are, kidney disease, heart disease, hypertension, stroke patients and including diabetes. Unfortunately, the amount of salt we normally consume daily may lead us to one of several illnesses noted.

How to Participate

  1. Create salt-free recipes in your home, or your restaurants and experience flavouring and eating by putting away the salt.  Find different ways to flavour salt-free!
  2. Take a photo of your creative salt-free recipes or food choices and post on social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
  3. Challenge yourself and your family and friends, your co-workers or colleagues by using social media during the week to participate in the salt-free challenge!
  4. Take the week to share or learn why too much salt is harmful for us.
  5. Feel free to be proud of yourself and your accomplishments!

Show your support by sharing this badge on your social media with the hashtag #saltfreecanada

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