A number of previous studies associate excessive salt intake with hypertension and increased cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum daily salt intake not to exceed 5 grams -- equivalent to about 2,000 mg of sodium. Marieke AH Hendriksen, from thte Dutch National Institute for Public Health & Environment (The Netherlands), and colleagues observe that the average salt intake among Dutch adults is about 83.4 grams per day -- markedly higher than the WHO guidelines. The team calculated that up to 6% of the nation's strokes, and up to 5% of the nation's heart attacks -- may be avoided, if residents complied with the WHO guidelines. The study authors urge that: "Substantial health benefits might be achieved when added salt is removed from processed foods and when consumers choose more for low-salt food alternatives."
Marieke AH Hendriksen, Rudolf T Hoogenveen, Jeljer Hoekstra, Johanna M Geleijnse, Hendriek C Boshuizen, Joop MA van Raaij. "Potential effect of salt reduction in processed foods on health." Am J Clin Nutr., December 11, 2013.
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