That salt on your fries could kill you!

That salt on your fries could kill you!

The ubiquitous salt, a mainstay in almost every dish we consume, is a major culprit in more than 2.3 million deaths a year. Find out what’s the ideal salt intake for both adults and kids here.

salt to blame for deaths

Could the humble salt be a silent killer?

It’s small, white and everywhere we see and probably in at least one of the foods we eat today. What are we talking about? Salt or sodium chloride as it is scientifically called. According to  a CBS News report, this humble and essential ingredient in most kitchens has been blamed as a factor in over 2.3 million deaths worldwide in 2010 and up to 1 in 10 deaths in America alone.

Salt: A silent killer?
The new research presented by a Harvard team to the American Heart Association and led by epidemiologist Darius Mozaffrian, found that fifteen per cent of all deaths from heart attacks, strokes and other heart-related diseases throughout the world in 2010 were caused by eating too much salt.

Salt, salt, everywhere
According to Mozaffrian, “It’s really amazing how pervasive it[salt consumption] is.” He added, “For the average person, it’s very hard to avoid salt – you have to be incredibly motivated, incredibly educated, have access to a range of foods and do all the cooking yourself.”

RELATED: ‘Healthy’ options at fast-food restaurants 

Just scare-mongering?
Does this research just seek to sensationalise and scare-monger with those figures? Some people seem to think so especially since most of us are probably aware that too much of anything can be bad for you.

Dangers of the hidden salt in your food
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this study is to realise that a lot of people the dangers of hidden salt. As more people rely on processed food to sustain their diet, their daily intake of salt will inevitably sky-rocket. This unawareness could be sabotaging whatever healthy lifestyle you might be leading.

Recommended doses of sodium
The recommended daily sodium intake of an average adult should be no more than 2,000 miligrams (mg) which is equivalent to a teaspoon of table salt. This figure goes down to 1,500mg for individuals with a pre-existing condition such as high blood pressure and hyper tension.

It is even lesser for a child with the adequate intake of salt being 1000milligrams for children aged one to three and 1,000 mg for children aged 1 to 3 and 1,200 mg for children aged 4 to 8.

To put it into perspective, a 100 gram serving of popcorn, pretzels or even processed meats such as bacon or pepperoni is equivalent to 1,500mg of sodium!

So we suggest that you think twice before upsizing that order of fries in your favourite fast food restaurant or going for that extra slice of pepperoni pizza.

RELATED: Healthy food alternatives for kids

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Written by

Wafa Marican

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