Hamiltonians are getting a dose of much needed information about the dangers of salt in their diet.
Local physicians, pharmacists and dieticians are teaming up this International Salt Awareness Week to launch a Halt the Salt initiative.
Beginning this week, everyone who visits a doctor’s office or pharmacy to get a prescription will also get information on what they can do to reduce their salt intake.
“There are over 100,000 people in Hamilton alone that are suffering from high blood pressure,” said Dr. Richard Tytus, a family doctor and president of the Hamilton Academy of Medicine.
“This silent killer contributes to heart attack and stroke. If we can reduce the salt, we can help more than 30,000 Hamiltonians,” he said.
Healthy adults should have a daily maximum of 2,300 mg of sodium — about one teaspoon of table salt. But the average Canadian consumes 3,500 mg a day.
Just one extra teaspoon of salt can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke by 23 per cent, the academy says. Too much salt has also been linked to osteoporosis, stomach cancer, obesity and kidney disease.
Tips to lower salt intake include:
* Lower the amount of processed foods and fast food you eat.
* Ask your restaurant server to recommend low-sodium menu items.
* Eat more vegetables and fruits.