New Delhi, 24th, September 2018: Posted by eHealthnewS


High consumption of salt among Indians a major health risk
The WHO recommends salt intake to not exceed 5 g per day

New Delhi, 23 September 2018: A recent study by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) has found that salt intake among adult Indians is high and exceeds the levels recommended by the WHO. The study found that salt intake in Delhi and Haryana was 9.5 g per day and 10.4 g per day in Andhra Pradesh.

High dietary salt intake has detrimental effects on blood pressure and can lead to cardiovascular diseases, over time. Restricting salt in the diet can lower the risk of developing heart disease by 25% and that of dying from heart complications by 20%.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The Indian diet is high in sodium and their salt consumption is one of the biggest contributing factors for non-communicable diseases. Excessive salt over time can cause irreparable damage to the kidneys as well. High salt intake also causes a rise in blood pressure, a condition known as hypertension. High blood pressure can harden the arteries, further decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen. An impairment in the flow of oxygen, to an organ such as your face, can cause your skin to dry and wrinkles faster which can make one look less youthful- not to mention the other health effects.”

An adult must not consume more than 5 g salt in a day, recommends the WHO. Researchers and policy-makers around the world stress on reducing salt intake to control hypertension because its key triggers— stress and faulty lifestyle—are difficult to control.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The terms salt and sodium are often used interchangeably; however, they mean different things. Salt comprises sodium and chloride. It is the sodium in salt that can be bad for your heart. While salt is essential for life, it is important to consume the right kind and maintain a proper salt-to-potassium ratio. It is noteworthy that more than 75% of the sodium we consume comes from packaged and restaurant foods.”

Some tips from HCFI

Substitute white salt with black salt wherever possible.
Do not keep salt shaker on the table.
Do not add salt in your food except in pulses and cooked vegetables.
Do not add salt to salads.
Avoid adding salt to foods at the table.
Take stock of the sources of salt in your diet, such as restaurant meals, salt-based condiments and convenience foods. Some of these are really loaded with salt.
Read the labels when shopping. Look for lower sodium in cereals, crackers, pasta sauces, canned vegetables, or any foods with low-salt options. Or, eat less processed and packaged foods.
Ask about salt added to food, especially at restaurants. Most restaurant chefs will omit salt when requested.
Remember the word ‘Na’, which is present in many drugs, soda etc.
Nothing can be preserved without adding salt to it, therefore beware of processed and frozen fruits.
Many sweet food items have significant hidden salt in them.
To cook with reduced salt, one can add more lemon, garlic, amchur (mango powder) etc.
It takes three months of salt-free diet to get adjusted to it and to ultimately start liking it.
Never add salt to milk.
Beware of salt in tooth pastes.
Replace sodium with potassium salt.
Achar, papad, chutney traditionally used in Indian diet have very high salt content. Most sauces will also have very high salt