According to a report, Canada's citizens are quite heavy-handed on the salt. This, researchers say is dangerous simply because higher intakes of salt (sodium) equals higher risks of developing the deadly stroke.
Based on data garnered from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, researchers discovered that Canadians far exceeded the recommended limits of sodium consumption- 2300 mg for adults and 1500 to 2200 mg for children aged one to three.
It was seen that the national average figures of sodium consumption of adults was 3092 mg (one third more than the recommended rates) and for children less than three, it was 2000 mg. Men overtook women in this field with an average of 4100mg sodium per day.
According to the U.S.-based Institute of Medicine, surpassing the recommended upper limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily for people over the age of 14 can lead to health problems including hypertension. Hypertension can cause strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure and is one of the leading causes of death in Canada.
Says Didier Garriguet, who published the Statistics Canada report 'Although some sodium is needed to control blood volume and to help cells function properly, most Canadians consume far more than is necessary, or recommended.
'A number of studies have shown a link between sodium intake and hypertension. When sodium intake rises in susceptible individuals, blood pressure tends to increase.'
So what are the foods responsible for this? As usual, fast foods are in the dock. Pizzas, submarines, hotdogs, chips, soups and burgers are all loaded with sodium, and account for generally one-third of all sodium intake, according to food scientists.
The worse part is that even if you were to avoid lacing your meals with salt and curb buying salty snacks, the food you buy from supermarket shelves already has its own share of sodium stocks.
So, the best thing to do say scientists, is to go cold turkey. Cut out all foods that contain more than 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of sodium and you may well be able to put your sodium intake under rein.