For the first time in its history, the World Health Organization (WHO) will issue a report on the effectiveness of public policies to reduce the consumption of salt in the world. This is crucial, since something as simple as eating less sodium each day, it can prolong life and reduce the incidence of disease.
According to some historians, our Paleolithic ancestors ate less than 1 gram (g) of sodium per day. Currently, the average for mankind is 4 g per day. Clearly, the habits of modernity have brought excess.
Salt was an ideal storage method in the absence of refrigerators. It was also a valuable commodity that established the wages. Today, buying it is easy and quite cheap. But we have not only contacted her in her table variant, but also there is sodium even in the ultra-processed products that are displayed in the gondolas.
Less than 10% of the world’s population eat less than 2 g of sodium per day. This figure is far from WHO commitmentwho proposed that most people have such a hiring limit after the year 2025.
Why is it important to reduce salt intake?
Reducing salt consumption is based on an attempt to limit the incorporation of sodium into the body. The table salt we add as a seasoning is made up of sodium and chlorine. The first of these components has a direct influence on blood pressure values.
therefore, the Scientific studies establish that reducing dietary sodium prevents arterial hypertension (AHT). In fact, patients with AHT have a medical indication not to add salt to their meals. This is part of your treatment.
The same researchers found insufficient evidence that reducing sodium intake reduces all-cause mortality. Anyway, Blood pressure control is a good way to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
In this context, it must be understood that the key point is sodium, as well as salt. If we don’t add table salt to our dishes, but buy ultra-processed products that have a high percentage of sodium on the label, then the final effect will be just as harmful.
A study in brazil found that people who consumed the most ultra-processed foods had the following characteristics:
- A total salt intake per day higher than the recommended values.
- Increased production of sodium through the urine.
- High cardiovascular risk.
- Increased tendency to be overweight.
So, reducing your salt intake, even if we don’t reach the WHO recommendation, will be helpful. Now we tell you how we can do it with simple tricks.
Tips for reducing sodium in our purchases
When we go to the grocery store or the store, we can make decisions that help us limit the sodium that will be available later at home. For example:
- Purchase fresh, non-canned vegetables. Salt is added to the cans for proper storage.
- Read the nutrition labeling. In almost all countries there is an obligation to report the sodium content of the packaged product. Moreover, several states have incorporated black labels that identify foods with an excess of the mineral.
- In countries where there is also a “healthy” label for packaged foods, such as the United States, preferring them over other options is ideal. This label implies low sodium content.
- Meats should also be purchased freshwhatever animal they are. Canned and sausages, as well as frozen, have a high percentage of salt.
Don’t let the advertising fool you. She learns to read labels and tries to have a critical eye while shopping at the supermarket.
With children, special care should be taken. In Argentina, for example, surveys on food in the gondola aimed at the childhood sector found that 97% of them had an inadequate nutritional composition: more than 70% added sugars and more than 27% of the recommended sodium limit for the age.
Tips to reduce salt intake at home
Once home and with the purchases already made, it is essential to establish simple precautions that force us to limit sodium in the diet. For this, we can follow the following tips:
- Season without salt. It’s difficult, especially in cultural contexts where table salt is ubiquitous. But you can opt for spices that replace it and enhance the flavor of the preparations. Furthermore, ingredients such as cardamom, for example, they associate to improve metabolism and reduce cardiovascular risk.
- Increase the proportion of fruits and vegetables in your meals. This will lead you to cut back on ultra-processed foods and, in turn, incorporate more potassium, which is a mineral that can balance out the effects of sodium in the body.
- When preparing the pasta, do not use versions of fast food from the same. The traditional way, with dried noodles placed in the pot, is the healthiest way. Conversely, dehydrated pasta that can be made in the microwave or in less than 3 minutes contains large amounts of salt.
- The dressings contain a lot of sodium. Don’t overuse commercial sauces or mayonnaise or mustard that are added to sandwiches.
- Remove the salt shaker from the table. And keep it out of arm’s reach in the kitchen. If you have it nearby, you will use it and add it to your preparations without measuring the limits.
Not everyone agrees with WHO
The WHO proposal to reduce sodium intake below 2 g per day is not supported by all scientific groups. some experts they believe that it is a limit that is difficult to apply in world populations, since the current pace of life is foreign to this purpose.
However, the benefits are evident on the cardiac level. And this is not something minor. THE Pan American Health Organization (OPS) reminds us that cardiovascular deaths continue to be the leading cause of mortality in the world.
It’s not about making big changes, but small changes that have a huge effect on our future. Reducing your salt intake is within reach. Let’s start shopping better, read the labels, remove the salt shaker from the table and lower our blood pressure.
The post WHO recommends reducing salt intake to protect our lives, how can we do it? first appeared on research-school