New App helps Aussie Food Shoppers Pass on Salt

saltswitchapp

A new version of the successful Bupa-George FoodSwitch app, SaltSwitch, is being launched to Australian consumers today. SaltSwitch will enable Australian consumers to scan different products and then direct them to the lowest salt options. Targeted at anyone who wants to reduce their salt intake, including people diagnosed with hypertension, SaltSwitch will help people to avoid high salt foods and identify low salt alternatives where available.

The App is based on a scientific algorithm developed by The George Institute for Global Health, licensed to Bupa Australia Pty Ltd to help step up the fight against high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. The App is intended to help Australians understand more about the nutritional value of the food they eat and empower people to make healthier choices. The database that powers FoodSwitch is the result of three years of research by food and health policy experts from The George Institute.

Nutritional information on more than 30,000 products 

Researchers are aware that more than three quarters of salt intake comes from processed and restaurant food, so simply removing the salt shaker from the dinner table doesn’t solve the problem. The app is particularly beneficial for people diagnosed with high blood pressure who are trying to follow doctors’ orders to eat a low salt diet.

SaltSwitch is an easy way to check the salt content of purchased food. Users can scan the bar code of a packaged food using their smartphone camera to receive immediate, easy to understand salt and nutrition information of more than 30,000 products on Australian supermarket shelves. When a product is scanned the app indicates by a ‘traffic light’ symbol whether it is low in salt content (green), should be consumed in moderation (amber) or is high in salt (red). Where possible, the app also lists alternative low content salt products. Where there are no amber or green alternatives people should choose to eat something different.

SaltSwitch is available as a free new feature of FoodSwitch. FoodSwitch is an Australian-only download from the App Store for iPhoneTM 3GS/4/4S/5 and iPad 2 devices and for selected Android based devices.

In Canada, there is no App that offers consumers assistance on nutritional information when shopping for food. However, the following Apps do offer support in helping Canadians monitor salt intake:

 <30 Days The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s <30 Days is an app designed to empower you with information and support to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Sodium 101 An increasing number of people are eating processed and “fast food” for convenience and cost, while unaware of its frequently high sodium content. This is leading to high rates of high blood pressure and other health issues. To help people take control of how much sodium they consume, the Canadian Stroke Network has developed the Sodium101 iPhone app, based on their popular website (www.sodium101.ca.) to make it easier for consumers to make smarter, lower-sodium food choices.

eaTipster eaTipster was created by Dietitians of Canada to make it a little easier for you to eat healthy. Dietitians serve up a trusted new tip for you each and every day.

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