Small amounts of salt are an essential part of healthy and balanced diet and vital for many functions in the body. Salt is made up of sodium and chloride, two substances that help to regulate fluid balance in the body, keep nerves healthy, support nutrient absorption and maintain muscle function.
However, excessive salt intake can contribute to high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. According to World Health Organization (WHO), the recommended intake of salt is lesser than 5g (equivalent to 1 tsp) or 2000mg of sodium . However, a community-based study has shown that 4 out of 5 Malaysian adults are consuming more than the recommended sodium intake (>2000mg/day) . The average intakes across Europe also range from 8-12g per day. Therefore, public health authorities are focusing on initiatives and policies to reduce salt intake at a population level.