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Salty food link to stomach cancer

BBC News reported that reducing salt “would cut cancer.” They said that cutting back on foods that are often overlooked as having high levels of salt, such as bacon, bread and breakfast cereals, may reduce people’s risk of developing stomach cancer.

The news stories were based on a report by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), which has said that one in seven cases of stomach cancer in the UK could be prevented if everyone reduced their salt intake to the recommended daily maximum of 6g, which is equivalent to about one teaspoon. Currently we are said to be consuming about 8.6g a day, which is just under half (43%) higher than the recommended maximum.

The WCRF reported that 14% of cases of stomach cancer could be avoided through reducing our salt intake. Kate Mendoza, head of health information at WCRF, said, “Stomach cancer is difficult to treat successfully because most cases are not caught until the disease is well established. This places even greater emphasis on making lifestyle choices to prevent the disease occurring in the first place – such as cutting down on salt intake and eating more fruit and vegetables.”

Eating too much salt is also linked to high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

The WCRF reported that one of the ways in which we consume a lot of extra salt is in processed food. It is calling for a standardised ‘traffic light’ system on the front of food and drink packaging that clearly displays the level of salt, fat and sugar in food products.

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