The 4th to 10th March is observed as “Salt Awareness Week” this week aims to encourage persons to reduce and control their salt intake. It is also geared towards raising awareness of the damaging effect of too much salt to our health. Salt affects the kidney, arteries, heart and brain. Let’s take a closer look at a stoke.
What is a stroke?
when part of the blood supply to the brain is cut off a stroke occurs, this then stops the flow of crucial nutrients and oxygen to the brain. There are two main types of stroke; 1) a blockage in a blood vessel, called an ischaemic stroke; 2) a bleed due to blood vessels bursting, called a hemorrhagic stroke. The effect of a stroke can be very sudden and serious.
How do we prevent a stroke or any other condition arising too much salt intake?
Processed foods has most of the salt you eat (75%) hidden in it. Practice checking labels of products such as bread, cereal, soup, sauces and meat products and choose lower salt options. Don’t add salt when cooking or at the table; use more herbs to season your food. Some foods may taste bland at first but, it will only take a couple of weeks for you to adjust. Adults should be active for 30 minutes, five times a week; try getting off the bus or train stop earlier and walking into work l Have regular blood pressure checks to monitor your progress.
For a healthy diet, eat less than 5 grams of salt per day, equivalent to 2000 milligrams of sodium. High blood pressure or “hypertension” is a major risk factor for heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney disease and is the leading risk for death in the world.
Nearly all people in the Americas eat far too much salt. Many adults and often children are eating over twice the amount considered safe for health. Cutting out table salt and eating less pre prepared foods high in salt will help keep you healthier. If you are over the age of 45, of African descent or have diabetes, hypertension, kidney or heart disease, your health is more at risk from high dietary salt than other people.
For more information, contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 3382772.