Choose to eat less salt, and reduce your risk of having a stroke

World Action on Salt and Health is helping in the battle to reduce the amount of salt eaten by people all over the world by raising awareness on the harmful effects of too much salt in the diet. WASH will be holding its 5th World Salt Awareness Week, running from 26th March – 1st April 2012.

The focus of the Week is on ‘Reducing salt; preventing stroke’. Stroke is the leading cause of severe adult disability and one of the one biggest killers worldwide and most importantly, it is largely preventable. Salt is the major factor that raises blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for stroke. High blood pressure is responsible for two thirds (62%) of all strokes [Ref 1].

All over the world we are all eating too much salt, with some people eating as much as 18g salt per day, far in excess of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) maximum daily recommended intake of 5g per day [Ref 2]. During World Salt Awareness Week, we would like everyone to try and eat less salt by reading food labels and choosing lower salt options – it’s as easy as that!

As Clare Farrand, Public Health Nutritionist at the World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) says, “People are eating far too much salt and it is extremely important that we try and cut down. Reducing salt intake doesn’t have to be difficult, with simple changes such as; reading the labels of foods and choosing the lower salt option; choosing lower salt ingredients; and not adding salt during cooking or at the table, we can all make a real difference to our health.”

Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at The Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and Chairman of WASH comments: “Salt reduction is receiving overwhelming support around the world. It is the simplest and most cost effective measure to prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths from stroke and heart attacks every year.  During World Salt Awareness Week you can do something great for your health by eating less salt.”

Download WASH news release here.