Key facts

  • High sodium consumption (>2 grams/day, equivalent to 5 g salt/day) and insufficient potassium intake (less than 3.5 grams/day) contribute to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • The main source of sodium in our diet is salt, although it can come from sodium glutamate, used as a condiment in many parts of the world.
  • Most people consume too much salt—on average 9–12 grams per day, or around twice the recommended maximum level of intake.
  • Salt intake of less than 5 grams per day for adults helps to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart attack. The principal benefit of lowering salt intake is a corresponding reduction in high blood pressure.
  • WHO Member States have agreed to reduce the global population’s intake of salt by a relative 30% by 2025.
  • Reducing salt intake has been identified as one of the most cost-effective measures countries can take to improve population health outcomes. Key salt reduction measures will generate an extra year of healthy life for a cost that falls below the average annual income or gross domestic product per person.
  • An estimated 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year if global salt consumption were reduced to the recommended level.

 

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