According to the World Health Organization, the main source of sodium in our diet is salt. For adults, salt intake of less than 5 grams per day helps to reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and coronary heart attack. The main advantage of lowering salt intake is that it reduces high blood pressure. About 2.5 million deaths can be prevented every year if the consumption of salt is lowered to the recommended level globally.
Since the amount of salt in the body should be neither high nor too low, WHO recommends that adults should consume less than 5 g (just under a teaspoon) of salt per day. For children between the age of 2 to 15, this recommended amount of salt should be lesser than the adults, and it should be based on their energy requirements. This recommendation for children is not applicable during the period of exclusive breastfeeding (0–6 months) or the period of complementary feeding with continued breastfeeding (6–24 months).
WHO also recommends that the salt that is consumed should be iodized or ‘fortified’ with iodine, as it is essential for healthy brain development of a foetus and young children, and it also optimises the mental functions of people, in general.
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