Spices and herbs helps adults reduce salt intake

Teaching people how to flavor food with spices and herbs is considerably more effective at lowering salt intake than having them do it on their own, according to research presented on Wednesday at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism Scientific Sessions 2014.In the first phase of the study, 55 volunteers ate a low-sodium diet for four weeks. Researchers provided all foods and calorie-containing drinks. Salt is the main source of sodium in food.

In the second phase, half of the study volunteers participated in a 20-week behavioral intervention aimed at reducing their sodium intake to 1,500 mg/day by using spices and herbs. The other half reduced sodium on their own.
More than 60 percent of the participants in the study had high blood pressure, 18 percent had diabetes and they were overweight.

The researchers found:
In the first phase, sodium intake decreased from an average 3,450 mg/day to an average 1,656 mg/day.

In the second phase, sodium intake increased in both groups. But those who received the behavioral intervention consumed an average 966 mg/day of sodium less than the group that didn’t receive the intervention.

“People in the intervention group learned problem-solving strategies, use of herbs and spices in recipes, how culture influences spice choices, how to monitor diet, overcoming the barriers to making dietary changes, how to choose and order foods when eating out and how to make low-sodium intake permanent,” said Cheryl A. M. Anderson, Ph.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and associate professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California San Diego.

Those assigned to the behavioral intervention group had cooking demonstrations and had a chance to share how they were changing traditional recipes to remove salt and include spices. The researchers didn’t emphasize specific spices, and encouraged participants to try different things to find out what they liked most.

“Salt is abundant in the food supply and the average sodium level for Americans is very high — much higher than what is recommended for healthy living,” Anderson said. “We studied the use of a behavioral intervention where people learn how to use spices and herbs and less salt in their daily lives.”

“Given the challenges of lowering salt in the American diet, we need a public health approach aimed at making it possible for consumers to
The McCormick Science Institute funded the study.

Source: Science daily

Sodium intake double in Bangladesh

As many as 12 million people suffer from high blood pressure in Bangladesh which is the main cause of heart attacks, brain strokes and kidney diseases, says a study

Excessive intake of sodium is resulting in serious health problems like high blood pressure, as people have been found to be taking more than double the required amount of sodium through salt.

As many as 12 million people suffer from high blood pressure in Bangladesh which is the main cause of heart attacks, brain strokes and kidney diseases, according to a survey conducted by National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute (NHFHRI).

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an adult man or woman should take only five grams of salt every day. The NHFHRI survey, however, found that in urban areas, people take 10.3 grams of salt a day, with males taking 11 grams and females 9.3 grams.

Findings of the survey was disclosed at a seminar organised by the NHFHRI at the institute’s auditorium in the capital yesterday. The seminar was titled “World salt awareness week-2014” while Dr Sohel Reza Chowdhury, Professor of the Department of Epidemiology and Research at NHFHRI, presented the keynote paper.

The keynote paper said heart attacks and strokes are the leading causes of death globally. Each year, 1.73 crore people die of these diseases while more than 80% of the deaths occur in lower and middle income countries.

In Bangladesh, the prevalence of non-communicable disease (NCD) is on the rise while heart attacks and strokes are the most common among the NCDs.

Health minister Mohammad Nasim spoke as the chief guest at the seminar. He said in order to ensure proper investigation into the incidents of deaths due to negligence of doctors, the government was planning to introduce new rules for Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC).

“BMDC will be given the power to cancel the registration of a doctor if the allegation of negligence against him is proved. The health ministry will sit with renowned and senior health professionals to discuss the issue,” he said.

The minister urged the authorities of big hospitals to provide the poor patients with special facilities.

Source: dhaka Tribune