Food In Canada


New recommendation raises daily sodium intake limit

Hypertension Canada recommends raising the daily sodium level from 1,500 mg to 2,000 mg, which may make it easier for consumers to regulate how much they consume

Montreal – A group of Canadian high blood pressure experts met up in Quebec recently to discuss a pressing issue: sodium.

Hypertension Canada convened the group at the Vascular 2013 conference to debate specifically the appropriate recommended sodium intake levels for Canadians living with high blood pressure and those who are trying to prevent it.

Currently, it’s recommended that Canadians between the ages of 14 and 50 limit their daily sodium consumption to 1,500 mg (about a quarter of a teaspoon).

Consumers between the ages of 51 and 70 should limit sodium intake to 1,300 mg and those age 70 and older should limit their intake to 1,200 mg.

But the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP), which is Hypertension Canada’s recommendations task force, decided to revisit the subject and the minimum daily intake levels.

Groups involved in the discussions decided to raise the limit of sodium intake from 1,500 mg per day to 2,000 mg per day, or approximately one teaspoon. The group says the amount is equivalent to the amount of salt in three bran muffins sold by a well-known franchised coffee shop.

Dr. Raj Padwal, a spokesperson for Hypertension Canada and an associate professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta, says the new limit more accurately reflects the scientific data. The new limit also “shows a reduction in blood pressure based on recommendations from the World Health Organization,” he says.

Since most Canadians exceed their daily intake –consuming on average 3,400 mg per day – the new recommendation is expected to make it easier for them to regulate how much sodium they consume, says Luc Poirier, also a spokesperson for Hypertension Canada and CHEP co-chair.

Hypertension Canada expects its new recommendation to have a positive influence on Health Canada’s policies around high blood pressure.

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