Salt Reduction Initiative – Cost-Effective Intervention for Hypertension


Hypertension is a serious risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, stroke and kidney failure. To prevent hypertension, one modifiable factor is the intake of a salt-rich diet. In some communities, traditional foods have a large amount of salt in the form of pickles, chutneys, yoghurt, buttermilk with salt, etc. But during the last few decades, due to globalization, there is a dietary transition which facilitates a dent in culturally-specific food habits. Previously, common salt was used in the preparation of the diet and for pickles, but now it is used in the preservation of food, to extend shelf-life. When man was placed in the forests and hunted and gathered his food, there was no concern about salt. Nevertheless, as society advanced, and human beings became civilized, demand for salt grew in their diets. Numerous factors are impacting the intake of salt, such as climate, occupation and physical activity. People working as laborers in hot places or in the summer require more salt than they would on a normal day. Today, most snacks are rich in salt, like Kurkure, potato chips, samosas, roasted peanuts, groundnuts and salty biscuits. It is desirable that the diets of young children and adults limit the salt consumption to 5g per day. It is especially advantageous in populations where the prevalence of hypertension is high, and salt intakes are also high. Reducing the average consumption of salt to less than 5g/day, with a combination of DASH and salt restriction, is a very helpful intervention in reducing blood pressure.


The populations of developing countries are facing hypertension as a public health problem. Factors causing hypertension are numerous, but some of these are modifiable and others are non-modifiable. One modifiable factor is the intake of a salt-rich diet. Common salt (sodium chloride) is really common in our daily life. The human body is comprised of various minerals as micronutrients, and sodium is one which is vital to human life. Sodium is found naturally in food and in common salt as well. Foods of animal origin are richer in sodium chloride than those of vegetable origin. 92-110g of sodium is found in the extracellular fluids and bones in a normal adult.1

Progression of Salt Usage

A small amount of salt is necessary for normal health. Previously, common salt was used in the preparation of the diet, but now this salt is also added to food items for preservation, to extend the shelf-life of certain foods which are not readily available.2 Because of this process, now most of the foods which were available for a ...

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This entry was posted in Cardiovascular, Nutrition, Nutrition Featured 2 and tagged , , . Volume: .

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