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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Salt - Its enought to put your blood pressure up.

There is a newswire article on how a major soup company has been unsuccessful in marketing salt reduced soups south of the border. 

Canada released salt consumption guidelines in December 2009 http://hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/sodium-eng.php.  I won't reiterate them; but basically cut back on salt and you will have less chance of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.   Makes sense.  Should be easy,  right?

There are some significant problems in remembering to comply with this advise, think about them the next time you grab the salt shaker.  
1.    We have become accustomed to salt in food, it is a flavour enhancer and eliminating it means replacing it with flavour that one may not be accustomed to.
2.    Salt is the original food preservative.  For those concerned about those chemicals added to food to keep it safer, it will need to be replaced with something, or revert to using fresh foods (not a bad idea)
3.    Food companies are concerned about the competition created by fresh foods that do not need preservation - hence stand a very good chance to lose market share and profit if consumption of salt is reduced
4.    Salt increases thirst.  A good thing if you are trying to market drinks along with foods.  Salt content in many fast foods is specifically increased with this in mind.

Prepared foods are convenient, fast and easy to use.   The cost to our health is mounting, and similar to that of tobacco, we need to innovate as a society to reduce the impact.  Popping pills is not the answer. 

The barrier is quickly becoming "Big Salt", working closely with "Big Sugar" - a topic for another blog.  Major food companies that depend on the consumer appetite for quick and convenient food options.

Cut down, take the salt shaker off the table, reduce convenience foods, eat at home more often - simple advise for fast times.

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