Salt, or sodium chloride is essential for life. No other, mineral is more essential for survival of human life.
Salt serves many purposes including sending and receiving electrical impulses, help your muscles stay strong and keep your brain functioning.
Further, it preserves acid-base balance, aids potassium absorption and improves the ability of the blood to move harmful carbon dioxide from tissues out to the lungs. One of the most important functions of this mineral is it supplies the stomach acids that are needed to break down and digest the foods we eat.
However, eating too much salt during childhood increases blood pressure which then tracks into adulthood and later life, increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Where does that extra salt come from?
Salty sauces such as soy sauce are huge contributors of salt to diets worldwide. In some other countries, the excess of salt comes from the salt already present in processed, packaged food – such as bread, ready meals etc.
WHO in its earlier awareness campaigns had set a target of reducing 30% reduction in salt intake by 2025. Some simple changes will not only help achieve the objectives set for this day but also bring down your salt intake, along with your family’s intake. Bringing down salt intake could reduce 1.65 million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year.
Despite the best efforts by member nation of WHO to reduce salt intake to 5 gm per day, no country has reached this target set so far. The International campaign has been running for 11 years, each year with a different theme. The theme for this year’s World Salt Awareness Day-2019 is: ‘Time for Action on Salt’.
What Government, people and other stakeholders can do to reduce Salt?
Government must prioritise the health of their nations and commit to stronger action salt
NGO’s, health charities need to stress on the amount of salt in our food.
People should involve in this initiative and write to companies to ask for less salt in food, write to government representatives to demand a strong salt reduction strategy, use social media to create awareness.