Reducing salt in your food can cut cancer risk

Cutting down on salty foods such as bread and breakfast cereals may reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer, a study has found.

Eating too much salt is not all about sprinkling it over fish and chips or Sunday lunch, the vast majority is already inside food.

WCRF, a UK charity that gives advice on how cancer can be prevented through diet, physical activity and weight, said that people should take less salt and the content of food should be labelled more clearly.

Too much salt is bad for blood pressure and can lead to heart disease and stroke, but it can also cause cancer, the BBC New reported.

The recommended daily limit is 6 g, about a level teaspoonful, but the World Cancer Research Fund said people were eating 8.6 g a day.

Some food labels list the sodium content instead of the amount of salt – sodium is a component of salt.

To work out how much salt a food contains, multiply the sodium content by 2.5.

“Stomach cancer is difficult to treat successfully because most cases are not caught until the disease is well established,” Kate Mendoza, head of health information at WCRF, was quoted by the BBC News as saying.

“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.” Mendoza said.

The WCRF has called for a “traffic-light” system for food labelling - red for high, amber for medium and green for low.

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