Italians have too high a salt intake. Almost twice the standard recommended by the World Health Organization. The opportunity to start adopting healthier habits is offered by World Awareness Week for Reducing Dietary Salt Consumption, promoted from today to May 21 by World Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (WASSH). It is an Association with partners in 100 countries on different continents formed in 2005 to improve the health of populations by gradually reducing salt intake to less than 5 grams per day (corresponding to about 2 grams of sodium), a target recommended by the World Health Organization.

WASSH’s main objective is to raise awareness among governments of the need for a broad, multisectoral population strategy on the subject, as well as to encourage food companies to reduce salt in their products, considering that about three-quarters of the salt consumed is already present in processed and packaged foods and in many countries, it reaches 80 percent. In fact, excessive salt consumption promotes increased blood pressure, leading to an increased risk of the onset of serious cardio-cerebrovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke, and has been associated with other chronic degenerative diseases, such as cancers, particularly of the stomach, osteoporosis and kidney disease.

WASSH is dedicating the week 2023 to the theme “Ditch the salt” (“Ditch the salt”) to raise awareness of the food industry to reduce the salt content in its products and remind everyone to use less salt in cooking and at the table. In particular, one can refine favorite recipes or create new ones that are equally flavorful with spices and herbs, and one can reduce the consumption of food products that may contain a lot of salt (soy sauces, ketchup, salad dressings, cured meats, ready-made sauces, canned or precooked foods, etc.). In fact, WASSH recalls that just a “pinch” less salt per day could prevent more than 4,000 heart attacks and strokes each year in the UK alone.

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