Consumimos más sodio que el recomendado mundialmente

El consumo de sodio a partir de alimentos procesados y de restaurantes contribuye al aumento de los índices de hipertensión, ataques cardíacos y accidentes cerebrovasculares. Disminuir el consumo de sodio hasta los límites recomendados podría evitar miles de muertes cada año.

Las personas estamos consumiendo demasiado sodio, comúnmente en forma de sal. Un alto consumo de sodio eleva la presión arterial. La hipertensión es un factor de riesgo importante de las enfermedades cardíacas y accidentes cerebrovasculares, primera y tercera causa de muerte en el país respectivamente.
Las investigaciones indican que existe una asociación basada en la dosis entre el consumo de demasiada sal y la presión arterial alta. Cuando se reduce el consumo de sal, la presión arterial comienza a disminuir en la mayoría de las personas a los pocos días y semanas. Las poblaciones con dietas bajas en sal no experimentan el aumento de presión arterial con el paso de los años en comparación con lo que sucede en la mayoría de los países occidentales.
Consumo de sodio y suministro de alimentos
Todos necesitamos una pequeña cantidad de sodio (por ejemplo: entre 180 mg y 500 mg por día aproximadamente) para que nuestros cuerpos funcionen correctamente.
El Instituto de Medicina de los EEUU recomienda 1500 mg de sodio por día como el nivel de consumo adecuado para la mayoría de las personas y aconseja a todas las personas limitar el consumo de sodio a menos de 2300 mg por día, el máximo nivel aceptable.
En ese sentido, el Instituto aconseja limitar el consumo de sodio en menos de 2300 mg por día (aproximadamente 1 cucharadita de sal de mesa) para la población en general y 1500 mg por día para grupos especiales de población.
El consumo adecuado (AI, por sus siglas en inglés) de 1500 mg por día es el promedio de consumo diario de sodio recomendado. El AI de sodio que se establece para adultos es de 1500 mg por día para garantizar que la dieta general proporcione cantidades suficientes de otros nutrientes y para cubrir la pérdida de sodio a través de la transpiración en el caso de las personas físicamente activas.
El máximo nivel (UL, por sus siglas en inglés) de 2300 mg por día se refiere al nivel diario de sodio más alto que probablemente no representa riesgo alguno de efectos adversos para la salud en el caso de la mayoría de las personas de la población en general. El UL no representa el consumo recomendado y no existe beneficio aparente de consumir niveles de sodio por encima del consumo adecuado (AI).
Según el citado Insituto, en los EEUU el promedio de consumo diario de sodio para los estadounidenses a partir de los 2 años es de 3,436 mg. Esto indica que, desde la década de 1970, la cantidad de sodio en los alimentos ha aumentado y se ingieren mayor cantidad de alimentos por día que en el pasado.
¿De dónde consumimos sodio?
La mayor parte de sodio que se consume proviene de alimentos procesados y de restaurantes; solamente una pequeña parte se emplea en la cocina o se añade en la mesa.
Incluso si una persona no padece de hipertensión, puede igualmente beneficiarse al reducir la cantidad de sodio en su dieta, ya que cuanto más baja sea la presión arterial en general, menor será el riesgo de enfermedades cardíacas y accidentes cerebrovasculares.
Si los fabricantes reducen gradualmente la cantidad de sodio en alimentos procesados y preparados, las principales fuentes de sodio en el suministro de alimentos, el consumo de sodio de la población podría reducirse a niveles más seguros con pocos o ningún cambio de comportamiento individual necesario por parte de los consumidores.
La reducción gradual de sodio también permitiría una adaptación más fácil del paladar en respuesta a la reducción de sodio. El consumo de sodio a partir de alimentos procesados y de restaurantes contribuye al aumento de los índices de hipertensión, ataques cardíacos y accidentes cerebrovasculares.
Disminuir el consumo de sodio podría evitar miles de muertes anuales, pues cada año la hipertensión arterial causa 400.000 muertes. Otros beneficios de reducir el consumo de sodio incluyen: menor riesgo de cáncer gastroesofágico, menor masa ventricular izquierda (corazón) y conservación de la masa ósea.
Fuente: Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades

458 thoughts on “Consumimos más sodio que el recomendado mundialmente

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