Heart health is a big deal. With coronary heart disease and strokes topping the list for world mortality causes, it’s clear that more needs to be done to combat these preventable conditions. A change to our diet is the best way to take positive steps towards better heart health. However, as we become more cash-rich and time-poor, we find ourselves eating more processed, on-the-go foods, which tend to be high in sodium.
Although sodium is an essential mineral that is needed to maintain a healthy diet, too much can not only lead to cardiovascular disease but also increase the risk of stomach cancer, osteoporosis and kidney disease. In the last 10 years, it has been highlighted by organisations such as Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) and World Health Organisation (WHO) in numerous studies that we are consuming too much sodium.
Sodium reduction strategies
Currently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that each individual consumes only 5g salt per day; in the UK the national average stands at 8.1g. With more than 70% of our daily sodium intake coming from processed goods, it’s clear that the food industry has an obligation to help consumers reduce the sodium content of their diet. This target cannot be met by consumers reducing table salt alone; manufacturers need to address the hidden sources of sodium contained in the food we eat.
For further information on global sodium reduction initiatives have a look at our map.
Achieving sodium targets
Baked goods are responsible for a large proportion of the sodium that we consume in our diet, with salt and baking powder being the major contributors. Although the removal of salt can allow some reduction in sodium, too much of a decrease can affect product functionality with regards to taste and mould-free shelf life. Raising agents often contribute more sodium than salt, allowing a significant reduction to be made without affecting flavour and shelf life.
KUDOS™ Potassium Bicarbonate is now established as the most effective sodium reduction tool in the bakery market. Used as a direct replacement for sodium bicarbonate, the end product sodium level can be reduced by up to 50% with no change in end product taste, texture or quality.
PELL K™ Baking Powders provide a complete low sodium solution for manufacturers that are currently using sodium bicarbonate based baking powders. By combining functional acidulants with KUDOS™ Potassium Bicarbonate, an extensive range of blends provide raising agent options to suit all products and processes.
Maintaining the sodium/potassium balance
Potassium has an intricate relationship with sodium in the body; for good heart health they need to be in balance. The WHO has identified a deficiency in potassium worldwide caused by the declining consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Increasing dietary potassium intake can:
- Assist with regulating blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke
- Help maintain muscle strength
- Improve efficiency of nerve impulses