Thursday, March 01, 2007

Is It Worth The Salt?

One of the first things Guillermo and I noticed when we first settled back into Argentine life was how everything tasted incredibly salty to both of us. I also have to train my eyes again in order to get used to seeing people shower their food with salt.

Even if we do not add much salt to our food, there is no way of escaping it unless we do not eat out. The mineral water most often served at eateries, Villavicencio*, tastes like saline solution to the unacclaimised. Bread is another highly salted staple in most people's diet.

Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH, United Kingdom), said: "Research has shown that a population cut of 1g of salt a day would equate to 7,000 lives saved each year from strokes and heart attacks, due to the drop in blood pressure that would occur."

CASH is urging shoppers in the UK to boycott bread with high salt content as salt in bread makes up 25% of British people’s daily sodium intake.

I doubt if bread alone contributes as much to the Argentine diet since salt added in cooking and at the table is probably where the real problem lies in this country. In any case, the research provides an encouraging benchmark for Argentines addicted to salt, a cut as insignificant as 1g a day would already lead one onto the path of better health.
* Eco de los Adnes is a local mineral water with relatively low sodium content. Glaciar is a low sodium water with added minerals.

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