Salt reduction can save over 2.5 M lives every year – WHO

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  • The principal benefit of lowering salt intake is a corresponding reduction in high blood pressure, the WHO said
  • An estimated 2.5 million deaths could be prevented yearly if global salt consumption is reduced to the recommended level
  • Salt intake of less than five grams per day for adults helps reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and coronary heart attack

Is your salt intake good for your health?

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According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 2.5 million deaths could be prevented yearly if global salt consumption is reduced to the recommended level; noting that salt intake of less than five grams per day for adults helps reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and coronary heart attack.

“Salt is the primary source of sodium and increased consumption of sodium is associated with hypertension and increased risk of heart disease and stroke,” it warned. “Increasing production of more and more processed food, rapid urbanization, and changing lifestyles are transforming dietary patterns. Highly processed foods are increasing in availability and becoming more affordable.”

“People around the world are consuming more energy-dense foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugar, and salt. At the same time, as their eating patterns shift, people are consuming less fruit vegetables and dietary fibre (such as whole grains), that are key components of a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables contain potassium, which contributes to reduce blood pressure,” the international health organization further stated.

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With this, the WHO gave some recommendations for salt reduction:

*For adults – Less than five grams (just under a teaspoon) of salt per day

*For children – Maximum intake of salt for adults must be adjusted downward for children aged two to 15 years based on their energy requirements relative to those of adults. This recommendation for children does not address the period of exclusive breastfeeding (0–6 months) or the period of complementary feeding with continued breastfeeding (6–24 months).

*All salt that is consumed should be iodized or “fortified” with iodine, which is essential for healthy brain development in the fetus and young child and optimizing people’s mental function in general.

It also gave some tips on how to reduce salt consumption at home:

*Not adding salt during the preparation of food

*Not having a salt shaker on the table;

*Choosing products with lower sodium content and limiting the consumption of salty snacks

Source :

WHO