Salt is killing us!

An important study was released from Statistics Canada today. The report shows that Canadians, on average, eat way too much salt.

A CBC article about the study says excessive sodium intake (more than 2,300mg / day) "...can lead to health problems including hypertension. Hypertension can cause strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure and is one of the leading causes of death in Canada."

I don't eat fast food very often, but today I was traveling and had a Harvey's hamburger for lunch. How much does it take to get to 2,300mg?

Well, the burger itself has 540mg. The bun adds 360mg. The condiments are another 290mg. I also had a side salad (10mg) with half a package of light Italian dressing (160mg) plus a medium Brisk Iced Tea (100mg). That's a grand total of 1460mg - about 60% the Health Canada recommended daily intake, but almost 150% of the 1000mg that some health professionals recommend.

That's about as healthy a Harvey's meal as one can eat. Let's imagine I was less informed and ordered like I might have a few years ago. We'll start with a nice bacon cheeseburger (1095mg), condiments (290mg), and a large Iced Tea (135mg). Then, add my favourite - poutine. - a savoury 2360mg of sodium.

Yes, that adds up to 3880mg of sodium, all ingested in about 30 minutes or less. Yikes. No wonder people eat too much salt. It's just so yummy. And no wonder heart disease has been increasing like crazy the last few decades...

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