Government regulation of sodium needed, say Canadian physicians

September 16, 2009 in Food Companies, Manufacturing and Trends, Nutrition Labeling, Nutrition Topics in the News

Government regulation of sodium needed, say Canadian physicians

It's a well-known fact that excessive sodium consumption is linked to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Now a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal calls for government regulation to reduce sodium consumption as the food industry is not doing enough.                      

Canadians currently consume more than double the highest recommended daily amount of 2,300 milligrams, wrote the medical doctors.

The food industry has been making efforts to reduce sodium for some time, largely on the back of consumer demand and health concerns, and there is a host of ingredients on the market that can be used as alternatives.

There are two major problems for food manufacturers in reducing sodium content: 1) It must be done while maintaining consumer acceptance of the food and 2) A replacement with the functionality of salt as a preservative or as an inhibitor for leavening agents must be used.

The Canadian Medical Association recommends an approach based on regulation and partnership between the food industry and government is likely to be more effective, claiming that government regulation would to a 30 percent reduction in the rate of high blood pressure.

Government regulation to reduce sodium content in food products is estimated to save the health care system up to $2 billion in medical events related to high blood pressure.

Hidden sodium can be found in food products like breakfast cereals, muffins, breads and condiments. One cup (55 g) of Kellogg's Two Scoops Raisin Bran has 340 milligrams of sodium - over 20 percent of your daily requirement.

Mindful of the 1,500 milligram daily requirement, become a sodium sleuth by reading nutrition labels to help you choose the food with the lowest sodium content per equivalent serving size.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.