06 november 2012

Too much salt!


The average Canadian consumes about twice the recommended daily amount of salt.

A federal politician from the official opposition New Democratic Party, has tabled a bill towards getting a national strategy on use of sodium.

NDP health critic, Libby Davies, wants food manufacturers to lower the salt content in foods, along with other tough on salt measures.

A report earlier this year from the University of Calgary suggested reducing salt levels in food would save the health care system billions of dollars. High salt consumption increases risks for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

Ms Davies proposed sodium strategy includes measures such as, ensuring sodium levels in prepacked food does not exceed certain levels, adjustments to Canada’s Food Guide regarding sodium, and creating a Sodium Reduction Advisory Committee to report to the health minister.

Canadian researchers have estimated that up to 23,500 cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes could be prevented if sodium consumption is cut in half.

(CBC video grab)

Canadians average intake of salt is about 3,400 mg per day. Health officials say the average adult should aim for an intake of about 1,500mg per day. About ¾ of that salt comes from processed foods. An article in Canadian Medical Association Journal also noted that fast food chains in Canada use more salt in their products than they do in their other outlets elsewhere in the world.

Ireland has adopted measures to reduce salt in food products with a 10-15% reduction already shown in products like white and brown bread. Back in 2008, a coalition of cities, states, and national health organizations in the United States, developed a voluntary program to reduce sodium in 2008


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