Monday, May 29, 2006

Hypertension a preventable disease

It has been mentioned that almost 30% of Malaysian suffer from hypertension. Obviously, we would like to see how this 30% can be reduce to less than 5%. If I were the public health specialist advising the government, I would make it mandatory for all food to be label as to the salt content, so that we all know how much salt we are taking. We should advocate and teach the public to consume less than 30 mMols of salt a day. It is also to try and encourage a strong fruit and green vegetable diet, something like the DASH diet. Weight watching should be promoted and a good exercise program helps. The sister of hypertension, obesity should also be prevented, so that we can break the terrible atherogenic triad of obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

Is it possible to have less than 30 mMols of salt a day. Yes of course. It just simply means no added salt in our food. The food that we consume, contains salt intrinsically. There is enough salt there to sustain live. Of course, if we are wasting salt as in exercise, or when we sweat intensely, or when we are having diarrhea, then we must replenish the salt lost. Otherwise, a no added salt diet is adequate.

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