Recently, Hypertension Canada convened the nation’s top high blood pressure experts to debate the issue of what the appropriate recommended sodium intake levels should be for Canadians living with high blood pressure and those who are trying to prevent it.
The current recommendations ask Canadians ages 14–50 to limit their daily sodium consumption to 1,500 mg (about a quarter of a teaspoon), with even lower levels set for those ages 51–70 (1,300 mg) and ages 70+ (1,200 mg).
After much discussion, led by the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP) Hypertension Canada’s recommendations task force, it was decided to raise the limit of sodium intake from 1500 mg/day to 2000 mg/day or approximately one teaspoon.
“We feel that raising the limit to 2000 mg/day is a more accurate reflection of the scientific data,” says Raj Padwal, Hypertension Canada spokesperson and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Alberta. “This new limit of sodium intake also shows a reduction in blood pressure based on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).”
Most Canadians exceed even the upper limit, consuming on average 3,400 mg/day. “This new recommendation will make it easier for Canadians to regulate the amount of sodium in their diets,” said Luc Poirier, spokesperson, Hypertension Canada and CHEP Co-chair.