Known by the man since prehistory, salt is a natural element popular for its taste characteristics and its role for foods préservations. Well dose, it improve meals appreciation. Like consumers searc this kind of effect, foods industry add it blithely to transformed products. Salt is found in abundance in fast food foods, meats, cheese, broths, breads, soups, sauces and also vegetables juices. Even breakfast cereals aren't spared! The more salt it has, more people tend to overeat. No surprise that the industry benefits of this effect of sodium to retain it's customer base and its great sales!!! Seventy seven percent (77%) of sodium that we eat came from foods we buy. Only 5% of our intake is a result of added salt from the table.

Salt is a micronutrient important for the human body. It plays a role for the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction as well as the retention of water in the body. However, intakes too high in sodium could provoke high blood pressure, a risk factor important in the occurence of a stroke, a cardiovascular disease or kidney failure. Plus, this ion is a cause for the development of osteoporosis, gastric cancer and aggravation of asthma.

Foods nutrients intake of Canadian referances (ANREF) fix sufficient intake (AS) for sodium between 1000 and 1500 mg per day. The tolerable maximum intake (AMT) is fixed at 2300 mg per day. Above this limit, risk for health are increased. Results of l'Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes of 2004 showed that the usual intake in sodium for Canadian is at 3400 mg per day. So about tow times of the normal intke per day.

Reduction of sodium is a profitable and efficient way to reduce implications of cardiovascular diseases in Canada. By decreasing  of 1840 mg the daily intake of sodium, we could reduce of 30% the prevalence of high blood pressure. Results ; 1 million of Canadian less could be affected by this disease. We realize savings of 430 millions of dollars as direct cost related to health care.

So, Health Canada set many mesures in place to help on our excessif intakes of salt. In these mesures, Canada force the hand of foods industries by forcing a gradual reductions of sodium added in prepared foods. Industries has until 2016 to actualize a decrease.

And us, what can we do? Two concrete actions could really decrease our daily intakes of salt. First of all, compare foods when grocery shopping and choose the brand which has less miligrams of sodium per portions. Secondly, change salty broths and stocks for aromatic vegetables such as leek. We double th flavors by browning sliced leeks in a bit of olive oil. A tasty tips to create a soups low in sodium!

Have a nice meal!