We can't picture our pantry without a jar of salt. It is the basic necessity while cooking. A pinch of salt brings the best out of a dish. However, too much of it may lead to various health issues. According to consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta, "Sodium is an essential mineral for our body to function as it is involved in nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction and for maintaining the water and mineral balance. But when consumed in excessive amounts, it may cause an increased risk of heart diseases, high BP, stroke and kidney problems." This is why the World Health Organisation had set a limit of 5-gram for daily salt intake. As per a WHO report, most people consume double the WHO-recommended amount, increasing the risk of heart diseases and strokes "that kill an estimated 3 million people each year."
Recently, WHO released a new set of global benchmarks for sodium levels in more than 60 food categories, with an aim to help countries reduce sodium contents in foods to improve overall diet. As per an official release, similar processed food products often contain different amounts of sodium in different countries. This global benchmark will set a standard for the "countries and industry to reduce the sodium content in different categories of processed foods." This comes as one of the steps taken to achieve WHO's goal of reducing global salt intake by 30 percent, within 2025. Click here to know about the global sodium benchmarks for different food categories.
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"Most people don't know how much sodium they consume, or the risks it poses. We need countries to establish policies to reduce salt intake and provide people with the information they need to make the right food choices. We also need the food and beverage industry to cut sodium levels in processed foods," stated Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
He further added, "WHO's new benchmarks give countries and industry a starting point to review and establish policies to transform the food environment and save lives."
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.