Targeting Sodium

How much Sodium is too Much?

The average, adult Canadian consumes in excess of 3,100 mg of sodium a day.[1]  This is twice the recommended amount needed for proper body functions such as maintaining the right balance of fluids and transmitting nerve impulses. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) established by the Institute of Medicine daily Adequate Intake (AI) for sodium for adults is between 1, 200mg and 1, 500 depending on age.  Research shows that lowering sodium consumption to optimal levels could reduce the incidence of stroke and heart disease by as much as 30 %.[2]


What are the effects of a diet high in Sodium?

The World Health Organization estimates hypertension to be the leading risk factor for death in the world[3].  This is partly because hypertension is common, occurring in nearly one quarter of the world’s adult population and partly because the management of hypertension is sub-optimal.  “Increased blood pressure is the leading risk factor for death, causing most of the strokes and much of the heart disease our country faces,” says Dr. Norm Campbell of Blood Pressure Canada, who spearheaded development of a National Sodium Policy Statement.  “It is estimated that almost one in three Canadians who have hypertension would have normal blood pressure if there was less sodium in our food.” 


What is being done?

The research concludes that the excess sodium in the diet is coming from fast food, processed foods and packaged foods.[4]  Therefore, health professionals are advising Canadians read the Nutrition Facts Table and choose lower sodium options of processed foods and packaged.  In the fall of 2007, Health Canada created a multi-stakeholder working group on sodium reduction.  This working group is made up of organizations including government agencies, the scientific community, health professional and health-focused non-governmental organizations.  Their focus is to develop and oversee the implementation of a strategy to lower the sodium content of Canadians’ diets over the next decade.


How can Dr. Oetker help?

Target your sodium concern by trying Dr. Oetker Instant Low Sodium Gravy Mixes. Available in four flavours:






[1] Statistics Canada, Garriguet D. Sodium consumption at all ages. Health Reports, 2007:18:47-52

[2] The changing face of heart disease and stroke in Canada 2000, Wielgosz et al, 1999. Ottawa., Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

[3] World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2002. Geneva, Switzerland:WHO; 2002

[4] He FJ, MacGregor GA.  How Far Should Salt Intake Be Reduced? Hypertension. 2003;42:1093-99

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