April 01, 2009 11:51
A test of ordinary Korean menus at restaurants suggests that Koreans' intake of sodium is reaching dangerous levels.
The fact is nothing new, as a survey for 2005 released by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs showed an average Korean adult ate as much as 5,200 mg of sodium a day, almost three times the World Health Organization's recommended level of 2,000 mg. But still it sounds a warning bell as most people today eat in restaurants since they spend much of their time at work or at school.
Sodium is an essential nutritional ingredient, but excessive intake can cause diseases such as high blood pressure and edema. Prof. Kim Soon-bae at Seoul Asan Medical Center said, "When you have heart disease, kidney trouble, or liver disease, you could get worse if you take too much sodium, including experiencing higher blood pressure, abdominal dropsy, or renal failure." Not even school meals are safe.
The Korea Food and Drug Administration in February said the average meal at primary and secondary schools was found to contain 928 mg of sodium. Based on expert views, the KFDA on Tuesday posted recipes for 123 dishes containing less salt on its website (http://nutrition.kfda.go.kr).
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