The Salt of the Earth
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – You may think the United States tops the list of unhealthy countries, but when it comes to sodium, adults across the world are eating way too much. New research states that 75% of the world’s population eats twice as much sodium every day than is recommended by the World Health Organization.
"We hope our findings will influence national governments to develop public health interventions to lower sodium,” lead author Saman Fahimi, M.D., M.Phil., a visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health's Epidemiology Department, was quoted as saying.
To estimate adults’ sodium consumption around the World, researchers used 247 surveys of adult sodium intake originally a part of the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study.
The World Health Organization sets the recommended daily amount of sodium at 2,000 milligrams, but 99% of the World’s population surpasses this number. In fact, the only country whose population consumes less than 1,500 mg. of sodium a day is Kenya.
Although the U.S.’s sodium intake is fairly high with an average of 3,600 mg. a day, the top three countries are Kazakhstan, Mauritius, and Uzbekistan. These countries’ daily sodium amounts hover around 6,000 mg a day!
So what is to blame for our high sodium consumption? Mainly, foods prepared in restaurants and the increased use of salt and soy sauce in cooking have cause the sodium levels in many people’s food to soar.
It is crucial for governments as well as individuals to lower how much sodium is in the food they are eating because too much can lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure.
However, cutting down on salt may seem difficult to do. Some ways to restrict your sodium intake are to limit how often you eat out, be conscious of how much salt you put in dishes at home, and try to avoid foods and sauces loaded with sodium.
Source: American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2013 Scientific Sessions, March 2013