New Brunswickers need to shake the sodium habit
Sodium levels high in restaurant and processed foods
Many New Brunswickers are eating foods that are so high in sodium that a single serving exceeds what the body needs for the whole day.
Many of the meals at fast food restaurants are not only high in calories, but also contain high levels of sodium. And the same goes for processed foods from the grocery store.
"The kind of upper end of the recommendation is around 2,300 milligrams of salt. And that is equal to about a teaspoon," said family physician, Dr. Aron Zuidhof.
According to Statistics Canada, 85 per cent of men and 60 to 80 per cent of women have sodium intake levels higher than the daily maximum.
Last year, the New Brunswick Health Council reported that 26 per cent of people have high blood pressure — the number-one chronic health condition in the province.
"Sodium, what it does is increases your total volume in your body, the total amount of free water and that can be a problem because overall you are increasing in volume leads to an increase in blood pressure," said Zuidhof.
The increase in blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
People should track just how much sodium they consume and then take action, Zuidhof said.
The federal NDP has introduced a private members bill demanding regulations that would force the food industry to reduce its use sodium.
But the federal government has indicated it does not plan to support the bill.