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Salt. A Real Danger to Our Health

Salt, a real danger to our healthOur diet is too rich in salt.

Now the world specialists of hypertension and cardiovascular disease are unanimous: excess salt is detrimental to the overall population, regardless of age.

Thus the reduction of salt is one of the leading objectives of national health nutrition.

The dangers of salt

A strong link has been established between excessive salt intake and health.

  • A diet high in salt is one of the risk factors for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. In fact, there is a direct link between excess salt in the diet and high blood pressure because the genes that control blood pressure are also those that regulate salt reabsorption in the kidneys. But cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in our country.

  • Excess salt is also known to promote the gastric cancer.

  • Finally, too much salt increases the risk of osteoporosis. Knowing that high salt levels in the blood increases calcium excretion in urine, after several years, this may result in a decrease in bone mineral density and increased osteoporosis.

The French consume too much salt

According to the latest expertise of the National Agency for Food Safety (handles), the average salt consumption of French through food is 8.7 g/day in men and 6.7 g/day in women. At these intakes from food consumed, “we must add 1 to 2 grams of salt per day, due to salting food and cooking water by the consumer himself”.

This is too much and too far from the recommendations of the WHO recommends not exceed 5 g of salt per day.

So much so that health authorities have been forced to set interim target of 8 g per day maturity of 5 years, a reduction of 20% (6.5 g/day for women and children)!

An imperative: reduce sodium intake in the diet

Consumers generally know the risks associated with excess salt, but what they often do not know is that over 70% of the salt consumed comes from a group of 6 food:

  • Bread and crackers.
  • The deli.
  • Soups.
  • Cheese.
  • The dishes.
  • Pizzas, quiches and savory pastries.

To which must be added (because of their high consumption in children):

  • The pastries.
  • The cereal breakfast.

Solutions they get there?

  • Decrease the salt levels in foods and thus encourage industry to engage in a charter or regulatory changes. Remember that salt is interesting as a preservative, flavor enhancer and has a assoiffant power (likely to drive up consumption of drinks…).

  • More information for consumers through the labeling of the salt content of industrial products.

  • Encourage French to limit their consumption of the most savory and salt additions in the preparation and during the meal.

On the right track These three fields of action have already been more or less established, with the first results in a decrease between 1999 and 2007 of 5.2% of average salt intake in the general population and 20-30% in very heavy users (more than 12 g/day).

Delete eating habits at risk

We can all individually control a good part of our sodium intake by eliminating our eating habits at risk:

  • No salt available on the table.

  • Ban systematic dusting: always taste before adding salt or salt.

  • Replace salt with other types of seasonings such as spices, herbs and cooking with garlic, onions, shallots.

  • Reduce the amount of salt added to the cooking water.

  • Replace crackers, peanuts and chips with vegetables and fruits: cherry tomatoes, radish, melon balls, celery or carrots soaked in yoghurt sauce, etc..

  • Avoid too rich mineral waters by comparing the sodium salt contents on the labels.

  • Limiting industrial products, often very rich in salt.

  • Limit the richest salt foods: meats (salami, prosciutto), broth (vegetable or meat), sauces and condiments, cheeses, pizzas and quiches, pastries, crackers, etc..

  • Do not accustom young children to eat too salty because eating habits are set in early childhood and it is difficult to change in adulthood.