TORONTO, March 10, 2014 /CNW/ - A coalition of health organizations, that goes under the name the Ontario Sodium Alliance, today warned about the restaurant practice of adding salt as a flavour enhancer to compensate for lower calorie menu items that have less sugar or fat.
It is common knowledge that chain restaurants have strict control of their menu items, and that they formulate recipes, using fats, sugars and salt to maximize flavour. The OSA's concern is that the positive trend to offer lower calorie foods may bring hidden dangers to those who are vulnerable to high blood pressure and heart disease, both influenced by a high dietary sodium intake. The OSA believes that the introduction of a menu labelling law in Ontario provides the perfect opportunity to ensure that patrons are given health protective information about dangerous amounts of sodium.
Don't trade calories for sodium
"We think that caloric menu labelling is extremely important and applaud action by the government," said Mark Holland, Director, Health Promotion and Public Affairs at the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and one of the Alliance partners. "But we don't want restaurant patrons to have to trade calories for salt. Ontario Sodium Alliance members want to be sure that chain restaurants are also required to identify high sodium menu items. We encourage health authorities to ensure that this information is available to consumers, especially the high percentage of Canadians who are most vulnerable to high blood pressure and as a result are more vulnerable to heart disease."
One in six people in Ontario have high blood pressure, and that number rises to one in four over the age of 45. World Salt Awareness Week, March 10-16, is a good time for us all to consider how to eat less salt - from eating fewer processed foods to checking the amount of sodium in packaged foods, to asking for low sodium options when you eat at restaurants.
The Ontario Sodium Alliance works to identify, prioritize and pursue opportunities that, in support of the Sodium Reduction Strategy for Canada, reduce Ontarian's sodium intake and reduce the sodium content in Ontario's food supply. Its members include the Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network, Dietitians of Canada (Ontario), the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ontario, Ontario Medical Association, and the Ontario Stroke Network.
SOURCE: Ontario Sodium Alliance
For further information:
Ontario Sodium Alliance