Ministry of Health
The Province is continuing to make the healthier choice
the easier choice with a new online, interactive sodium tool.
Using the Sodium Sense tool, visitors to www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca can
gauge how much sodium they consume throughout the day. This
interactive tool allows families to create low sodium meals for
breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Sodium Sense tool is part of the Province’s Healthy Families BC
campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of eating too much sodium.
Other measures to raise awareness include the Healthy Families BC
Sodium Facts Contest. The contest tested the sodium knowledge of
British Columbians. Laura Gaetz from Parksville is the grand prize
winner of the contest and has chosen $5,000 in groceries. Gaetz and
her daughter will also benefit from $1,000 worth of meal planning
services from a registered dietitian.
Sodium is needed to stay healthy, but too much sodium is linked to
elevated blood pressure, which is the leading preventable risk factor
for death in B.C. A good way to watch the amount of sodium you eat is
to check the nutrition facts label on packaged foods. Look for the
percentage daily value (% DV). Five per cent daily value or less of
sodium is a little, while 15 per cent or more is a lot.
British Columbians consume more than double the amount of sodium
considered adequate to promote good health. So consume more fresh
foods, fewer processed or packaged ones and read those labels. Use
the Sodium Sense tool to create meals that have the recommended 500-
800 mg of sodium, and aim for a total daily sodium intake of 1,500-
Healthy Families BC is targeted at reducing chronic diseases and
obesity levels in the province through healthy eating and physical
activity. The $68.7-million strategy will see the implementation of a
variety of healthy living measures to improve health and promote
wellness in every part B.C.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart
disease are the largest causes of disability and death in British
Excess sodium is linked to high blood pressure, the major cause of
cardiovascular disease and a risk factor for stroke and kidney
There is also evidence that a diet high in salt is a risk factor
for osteoporosis, stomach cancer and asthma.
The recommended daily sodium intake for an adult is 1,500 mg, but
the majority of British Columbians consume more than twice that
amount, at 3,400 mg. This means that the average British Columbian
consumes the equivalent of 11 cups of salt a year.
Evidence shows that if we are physically active, achieve and
maintain a healthy body weight, enjoy a healthy diet and refrain from
smoking, we can reduce our risk factors for most chronic diseases by
up to 80 per cent.
For tips on how to limit your sodium intake and to play Sodium
Sense, visit: http://healthyfamiliesbc.ca/