Thursday, January 21, 2010

Half a Teaspoon Less Salt Could Save Thousands of Lives

Source: Globe and Mail (Summary by NIM)

It's probably the most simple solution I can think of to so many health problems. No, I'm talking about quitting smoking or losing weight, although doing this results in a benefit to the health care system that is just as significant. I'm talking about cutting out a measly 1/2 a teaspoon of salt per day from your diet. Is it really that hard?

According to new research from the US, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, cutting a mere 1,200 mg of sodium from one's diet could prevent up to 120,000 new cases of coronary heart disease, 66,000 strokes and 99,000 heart attacks.

Even though these findings are based on a US population, Canadians sure love their salt, too - and just as much! While Americans consume around 3,400 mg of sodium per day, Canadians are estimated to consume about 3,100 mg per day. Both figures are significant if you consider that the upper limit for sodium intake is actually 2,300 mg per day. In Canada, it's estimated that that reducing sodium intake to recommended levels could prevent up to 17,000 cases of stroke, heart attack or heart failure each year.

Find out more about how sodium affects you by reading the article "Half a teaspoon less salt a day could save 100,000 lives, study finds"