World Health Organization (WHO), has revealed that adults require less than five grams of salt daily and consuming more than that is life-threatening.
The organization shared the information yesterday on its Twitter Handle @WHOAFRO, stressing that most people consume too much salt when they only need less than one teaspoon daily to maintain a healthy life.
It said most people consume an average of nine to 12 grammes daily or about twice the recommended maximum level of intake per day.
Revealing that taking in above the recommended quantity increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, which adds to health care cost for governments.
And that at about 2.5 million deaths might be prevented each year if global salt consumption could be reduced to the recommended level of fewer than five grammes.
It, therefore, advised that high levels of salt consumption should be reduced by limiting the consumption of salty snacks and choosing products with lower sodium content.
Stating: “Reducing salt intake means less deaths, disability and suffering from heart disease and stroke; this is possible by comparing labels at supermarkets and choosing products with less sodium.
“Salt consumption at home can be reduced by limiting the consumption of salty snacks, replacing salt when cooking with natural herbs and spices.”
WHO also said that processed foods, high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugar and salt, are fast increasing in availability and becoming more affordable to the public. And that people now consume less vegetable, fruits and dietary fibre, which are key components of a healthy diet.
Adding that salt was the primary source of sodium and increased consumption of it had been associated with hypertension, increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Speaking on the daily maximum intake for children, the organization noted that children aged two to 15 should be adjusted downwards based on their energy requirements.
It recommended that the best salt to be consumed is iodized or fortified with iodine; an essential substance for healthy brain development in the fetus, young children and people’s mental function generally.