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'Reduce salt intake for healthy life'

Three gram reduction in a person's dietary intake of salt would result in over a 20 per cent drop in deaths from stroke.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 03, 2008 18:58 IST

Three gram reduction in a person's dietary intake of salt would result in over a 20 per cent drop in deaths from stroke and over a 15 per cent fall in death from heart disease, according to a senior cardiologist here.

"Heart disease and stroke are the world's number one killer, causing 17.5 million deaths every year. Eating half a teaspoon less of salt each day could save millions of lives," Dr S Balaji of Sri Ramakrishna Hospital said during a function on 'World Heart Day' organised here recently.

There are several factors, including excessive consumption of salt, which increased the risk of developing high blood pressure.

"However, by adopting lifestyle changes hypertension is controllable," Balaji said.

Avoiding foods high in salt, refraining from adding salt and being aware of the salt content of food in restaurants and processed foods, can potentially reduce salt consumption by three grams a day, he said.

High blood pressure is the biggest single risk factor for heart disease and stroke. By 2025, it has been estimated that more than 1.5 million people will suffer from high blood pressure, Balaji said.