There is always a lot of debate on the effects of diet on our health. The amount of salt we consume, and the potential adverse effects of that consumption, is never too far from that debate.
The World Health Organisation “Sodium intake for adults and children Guideline (2013)” summarises much of the evidence base on this topic and points out the benefits of salt reduction in non-communicable disease (notably cardiovascular disease) prevention and management.
In the UK, one of the main protagonists in lobbying for more awareness of the dangers of high salt consumption, better labelling of food products as well as empirical work on the effects of excess salt consumption on our health is the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) led by Professor Graham Macgregor. As an organisation they have done much to bring down the nation’s salt consumption.
As a clinician and scientist i also have an interest in salt and it’s perceived impact on our health.
A little while ago we designed an experimental trial to see if we could reduce the salt intake in bread (one of the largest contributors to salt in our diet) without impacting on taste. The trial has been completed and I will write about it in greater detail in another blog. However we did a simplified version of the study for a Channel 4 Dispatches program entitled “Salt: Are You Eating Too Much?“, where I discussed some of the findings from our larger study.
The program predominantly featured the work of the CASH team and highlighted areas such as labelling inaccuracies, salt reduction targets not being met and salt consumption in children. You can read more about the program content here.