THE humble kota is a staple meal for many in Mzansi.

It is fast, affordable and fills you up as much as a feast but as popular as the kota is, it can also be a long-term health hazard.

The human body must not consume more than 6g of salt in a day – that’s less than a teaspoon full. This measurement is provided by the South African Primary Health Care Standard Treatment Guideline by the National Department of Health.

While our bodies need a little salt, adults and children are throwing it down their throats in unhealthy amounts – some experts estimate we consume as much as 40g a day!

DrVash Mungal-Singh, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA, said the problem is that up to 60 % of all the salt we swallow is hidden in the products we eat.

We probably aren’t even aware of the salt – or sodium – levels in our food. This is why one of the most loved meals, the kasi kota, is such a problem as lots of salt is added to improve its flavour – and how many of us automatically add salt to our food without tasting it first?

Excess intake of salt or sodium can cause many problems such as kidney stones, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.

High blood pressure affects more than 10% of Mzansi. It leads to heart disease and strokes.

We need to give up our salt habit.