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Canadians must eat less salt: Health Canada


July 24, 2018
By Canadian Pizza

Ottawa – The federal government is concerned that most Canadians are eating too much sodium and is taking steps to help them reduce their intake. 

Today, Health Canada released the Sodium Intake of Canadians in 2017 report. The report shows that Canadians consume an average of 2,760 milligrams of sodium each day – almost double the recommended daily amount of sodium.

Diets high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke – the leading causes of death in Canada, after cancer, Health Canada said in a news release.

Health Canada recommends that most Canadians consume 1,500 mg of sodium per day, and, if they go over that amount, to limit their consumption to no more than 2,300 mg per day. However, 58 per cent of all Canadians, and 72 per cent of Canadian children between the ages of 4 and 13 are consuming more than the recommended limits.

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Males have much higher intakes of sodium than females across all age groups. In fact, almost all males between the ages of 14 and 30 consume more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily.

Health Canada’s recent evaluation of the food industry’s efforts to meet voluntary sodium reduction targets, show that voluntary sodium reduction in processed foods accounted for a decrease of eight per cent in average daily sodium intake between 2010 and 2017.

In February 2018, Health Canada introduced a regulatory proposal to require a front-of-package symbol on foods high in sodium, sugars and saturated fat. Its goal is to help Canadians make healthier food choices and encourage manufacturers to reduce sodium levels in many foods.

Health Canada plans to develop new or revised voluntary sodium reduction targets for both prepackaged and restaurant foods, and to create a monitoring program to evaluate and report on progress.

The report is one element of Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy.