Many Ontarians are unaware of how much salt is in their food and are surprised to learn that some of their favourite pre-packaged foods, like frozen pizzas, soups and canned vegetables can be very high in salt. Most importantly, some Ontarians are unaware of the negative effects it can have on their health. High sodium diets are a major risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Although a sprinkling of salt in the kitchen or at the dinner table is the most visible source of salt in our diets, it provides a very small proportion of our total salt intake. 1 teaspoon or 2300 mg of common table salt is the upper accepted limit of sodium that is considered healthy. This is significantly higher than the 1.5 teaspoons or 3400 mg that the average Canadian consumes daily.
With greater awareness and better understanding of salt, sodium, and possible health effects, patients have the tools to make more informed, healthier food choices. If you have an existing heart-related illness and want to learn more about sodium and your daily intake, or you are concerned that the sodium in your diet is affecting your health, make an appointment to talk to your family doctor.