Salt reduction

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, sugars, and salt. Salt is the primary source of sodium and increased consumption of sodium is associated with hypertension and increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

At the same clock time, as their feed patterns shift, people are consuming fewer fruits and vegetables and less dietary fiber ( such as whole grains ), which are keystone components of a goodly diet. Fruits and vegetables contain potassium, which contributes to reduce blood imperativeness. salt in the diet can come from processed foods, either because they are particularly high gear in strategic arms limitation talks ( such as ready meals, processed meats like bacon, ham and salami, cheese, salty nosh foods, and moment noodles, among others ) or because they are consumed frequently in big amounts ( such as bread and processed cereal products ). Salt is besides added to food during cook ( bouillon and banal cubes ) or at the table ( soy sauce, pisces sauce and mesa salt ).

however, some manufacturers are reformulating recipes to reduce the salt content of their products and consumers should read food labels and choose products gloomy in sodium .

Recommendations for salt reduction

  • For adults: WHO recommends that adults consume less than 5 g (just under a teaspoon) of salt per day (1).
  • For children: WHO recommends that the recommended maximum intake of salt for adults 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.

About salt, sodium and potassium

  • Sodium is an essential nutrient necessary for maintenance of plasma volume, acid-base balance, transmission of nerve impulses and normal cell function.
  • Excess sodium is linked to adverse health outcomes, including increased blood pressure.
  • The primary contributors to dietary sodium consumption depend on the cultural context and dietary habits of a population.
  • Sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods, such as milk, meat and shellfish. It is often found in high amounts in processed foods such as breads, processed meat and snack foods, as well as in condiments (e.g. soy source, fish source).
  • Sodium is also contained in sodium glutamate, used as a food additive in many parts of the world.
  • Potassium is an essential nutrient needed for maintenance of total body fluid volume, acid and electrolyte balance, and normal cell function.
  • Potassium is commonly found in a variety of unrefined foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
  • Increased potassium intake reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults.

How to reduce salt in diets

Government policies and strategies should create environments that enable populations to consume adequate quantities of safe and alimentary foods that make up a healthy diet including broken strategic arms limitation talks. Improving dietary habits is a social ampere well as an person province. It demands a population-based, multisectoral, and culturally relevant approach. Key broad strategies for salt reduction include :

  • government policies – including appropriate fiscal policies and regulation to ensure food manufacturers and retailers produce healthier foods or make healthy products available and affordable;
  • working with the private sector to improve the availability and accessibility of low-salt products;
  • consumer awareness and empowerment of populations through social marketing and mobilization to raise awareness of the need to reduce salt intake consumption;
  • creating an enabling environment for salt reduction through local policy interventions and the promotion of “healthy food” settings such as schools, workplaces, communities, and cities;
  • monitoring of population salt intake, sources of salt in the diet and consumer knowledge, attitudes and behaviours relating to salt to inform policy decisions.

Salt decrease programmes and programmes that promote fortification with micronutrients of salt, condiments or seasonings high in salt ( bouillon cub, soy sauce and fish sauce ) can complement each other. Salt pulmonary tuberculosis at home can be reduced by :

  • not adding salt during the preparation of food;
  • not having a salt shaker on the table;
  • limiting the consumption of salty snacks;
  • choosing products with lower sodium content.

other local practical actions to reduce strategic arms limitation talks consumption include :

  • integrating salt reduction into the training curriculum of food handlers;
  • removing salt shakers and soy sauce from tables in restaurants; Introducing product or shelf labels making it clear that certain products are high in sodium;
  • providing targeted dietary advice to people visiting health facilities;
  • advocating for people to limit their intake of products high in salt and advocating that they reduce the amount of salt used for cooking; and
  • educating children and providing a supportive environment for children so that they start early with adopting low salt diets.

Actions by the food diligence should include :

  • incrementally reducing salt in products over time so that consumers adapt to the taste and don’t switch to alternative products;
  • promoting the benefits of eating reduced salt foods through consumer awareness activities in food outlets;
  • reducing salt in foods and meals served at restaurants and catering outlets and labelling sodium content of foods and meals.

Misperceptions about salt reduction

  • “On a hot and humid day when you sweat, you need more salt in the diet:” There is little salt lost through sweat so there is no need for extra salt even on a hot and humid day, although it is important to drink a lot of water.
  • “Sea salt is not ‘better’ than manufactured salt simply because it is ‘natural.’” Regardless of the source of salt, it is the sodium in salt that causes bad health outcomes.
  • “Salt added during cooking is not the main source of salt intake.” In many countries, about 80% of salt in the diet comes from processed foods.
  • “Food does not need salt to have appealing flavour.” It takes some time for a person’s taste buds to adjust, but once they get used to less salt, one is more likely to enjoy food and notice a broader range of flavours.
  • “Food has no flavour without salt.” Whilst this may be true at first, taste buds soon become accustomed to less salt and you are more likely to enjoy food with less salt, and more flavour.
  • “Foods high in salt taste salty.” Some foods that are high in salt don’t taste very salty because sometimes they are mixed with other things like sugars that mask the taste. It is important to read food labels to find out sodium levels.
  • “Only old people need to worry about how much salt they eat:” Eating too much salt can raise blood pressure at any age.
  • “Reducing salt could be bad for my health:” It’s very difficult to eat too little salt since there are so many everyday foods containing salt.

WHO response

WHO guidelines on sodium and potassium provide thresholds for healthy intake. The guidelines besides outline measures for improving diets and preventing NCDs in adults and children. The “ Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health ” was adopted in 2004 by the World Health Assembly ( WHA ). It calls on governments, WHO, international partners, the individual sector and civil company to take action at ball-shaped, regional and local anesthetic levels to support healthy diets and forcible action. In 2010, the WHA endorsed a set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children. These guide countries in designing new policies and strengthening existing ones to reduce the shock on children of the market of insalubrious food. WHO is besides helping develop a food profile model that countries can use as a tool to implement the marketing recommendations. In 2011, global leaders committed to reducing people ’ south exposure to unhealthy diets. The commitment was made through a political declaration of the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs. In 2012, the WHA adopted six global nutriment targets, including the decrease of stunt, wasting and corpulence in children, the improvement of breastfeed and the reduction of anemia and broken birth weight.

In 2013, the WHA agreed 9 ball-shaped voluntary targets for the prevention and control of NCDs, which include a arrest to the rebel in diabetes and fleshiness and a 30 % relative reduction in the intake of strategic arms limitation talks by 2025. The “ ball-shaped action plan for the Prevention and Control of noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020 ” gives guidance and a menu of policy options for Member States, WHO and other UN agencies to achieve the targets. With many countries now seeing a rapid rise in fleshiness among infants and children, WHO in May 2014 set up a mission on childhood fleshiness. The Commission will draw up a report for 2015 specifying which approaches and actions are likely to be most effective in different context around the world. ( 1 ) These recommendations apply to all individuals, with or without high blood pressure ( including pregnant and lactating women ), except individuals with illnesses or those consume drug therapy that may lead to low sodium levels or acute build-up of body water, or require physician-supervised diets ( e.g. patients with heart failure and those with type I diabetes ). In these subpopulations, there may be a particular relationship between sodium intake and the health outcomes sought. ( WHO. Guideline : Sodium consumption for adults and children, 2012 ) .

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Category : Healthy