Washington, Feb 3: Health experts are urging people to avoid food with high salt content because it may lead to health problems like hypertension and strokes.
Dr Ken Flegel, Dr Peter Magner and the CMAJ editorial team write that added salt in diets is unnecessary.
They insist that customers must be vigilant, read food labels, and demand low salt food in stores and restaurants.
"Of the estimated one billion people living with hypertension, about 30 per cent can attribute it to excess salt intake," write the authors.
According to them, populations, such as the Yanomami Indians in South America, with very low levels of salt intake do not have hypertension.
In contrast, Japan, with a salt intake of 15 g per person, has high rates of hypertension and the highest stroke rates in the industrialized world.
The authors recommend a maximum daily intake of 2.8 g for active young people, and 2.2 for older adults.
"The correct default should be no added salt in food we purchase, leaving those who still wish to do so free to indulge at their own risk," they conclude.