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Sweet deal: South Africans are going easy on salt


Sweet deal: South Africans are going easy on salt

Research finds people are reducing their salt intake, which is good news in a country burdened with related disease


Legislation to reduce salt consumption in SA is paying off, with the latest research showing daily intake has fallen by more than a gram. However, further reduction is needed before the country can reach the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended 5g a day.

Researchers from North West University (NWU) and Johannesburg’s Wits University say the findings are positive in a country with a high burden of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

To reduce hypertension, the WHO recommends a 30% reduction in population salt intake by 2025. SA was one of the first countries to use legislation to regulate salt consumption and in 2016 introduced mandatory maximum sodium levels in processed foods such as bread, soups, salt snacks, breakfast cereals, sausages and butter. Before legislation was introduced, some studies suggested South Africans consumed as much as 40g a day, resulting in unmanageable hypertension...

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