Sodium use in Canadian restaurants is extremely high
February 27, 2013
Researchers from the University of Toronto recently looked at the sodium levels of the food served in Canadian restaurant chains and found that the amount in much of the food exceeds recommended daily levels, according to CBC News.
The researchers analyzed the salt levels in about 9,000 food items that were sold at 65 fast food restaurants and about 20 sit-down chains across the country. Examining these levels was a part of a national effort to reduce the sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day per person by 2016. Now, it is recommended that people consume up to 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day, which is the minimum amount that the body needs, but it should not exceed the 2,300 milligrams.
The findings showed that more than 22 percent of the sandwiches or entrees served at the sit-down locations exceeded the 2,300 milligrams. The average amount for meals was 1,455 milligrams, which is equivalent to 97 percent of an adult's daily intake, and this did not include the side dishes that many of these foods come with. At the fast food restaurants, the highest sodium was found in stir fry entrees as well as poutine or fries with toppings. The researchers believe something has to be done to reduce this number in order to lower the national average.
"Because of the prevalence of eating out, as well as the high rates of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, addressing the exceedingly high sodium levels in restaurant foods is essential in order to decrease the burden of chronic disease," the researchers concluded in Wednesday's issue of the Canadian Journal of Public Health.