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Study Spotlights Five Processed Food Categories In U.K. That Account For Most Salt Intake

December 29, 2010: 09:45 PM EST

High levels of dietary sodium are associated with hypertension, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. In 2008, Britons consumed an average of about 8.6 g of sodium a day, much more than the 1–2 g a day required for good health. Now a British study that analyzed food-purchasing data for more than 21,000 British households and more than 44,000 food products has found that much of the sodium consumed in the U.K. – apart from table salt, which accounts for 23 percent – comes from five processed-food categories: bacon, bread, milk, cheese, and savory sauces (totaling 37 percent). “Accordingly,” the researchers concluded, “the targeting of sodium content reductions in these categories … could lead to large potential gains in public health.”

Cliona Ni Mhurchu, et al. , "Sodium content of processed foods in the United Kingdom: analysis of 44,000 foods purchased by 21,000 households", BMJ, December 29, 2010, © American Society for Nutrition
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