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|11 August, 2018

Reduce your salt intake to prevent stomach cancer

Nutritionists recommend that you reduce your salt intake to one teaspoon a day.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A waiter presents two types of salad served by Habibi restaurant in Peshawar, Pakistan January 31, 2018.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A waiter presents two types of salad served by Habibi restaurant in Peshawar, Pakistan January 31, 2018.

REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Our body needs salt to survive. We must have a constant salt concentration in our blood. But in certain diets and food habits our nutrition health suffers, because just about every food we buy (with the exception of fresh produce, of course) is seasoned with salt. Whether it’s take-out at the local restaurant or our favourite lunch, salt is sure to be a main ingredient.

Nutritionists recommend that you try to reduce your salt intake to one teaspoon of salt a day. And there’s a very good reason for this: Salt may be one of the main culprits when it comes to developing stomach cancer. This timely health advice comes from a study performed by a research team based in Tokyo, Japan. Researchers there set out to discover why patients who end up with gastric cancer also seem to develop duodenal ulcers.

While they found some interesting possibilities about why a link may exist between these two health problems, one of the most important conclusions that came from analysing various studies was that there was a definite link between salt intake and stomach cancer. So, how do you reduce your salt intake in your fast-paced, convenience-food culture? Reducing your salt intake can be tricky if you cannot cook (or have someone else cook) your meals.

There are, however, some packaged foods that are now sodium-reduced. Check labels to see how much salt is in a particular brand of food before you buy it. You can also try using natural sea salt. Table salt is usually heated at very high temperatures (1,200 degrees F). The high temperatures reduce the salt to sodium and chloride. It also changes the chemical composition of salt. Scientists have determined that table salt contains only two or three elements. Sea salt has as many as 82 elements.

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Throughout history, the human body has been accustomed to having all these elements in salt to help keep it healthy. And remember, you’ll want to reduce your salt intake — not cut it from your diet altogether. Now, here’s one more suggestion for a great alternative therapy that could help prevent stomach cancer, courtesy of the findings of the Japanese study: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and make sure you get your RDI of vitamins A, C, and E every day. The researchers suggest that good nutrition may, in fact, be all that’s needed to inhibit stomach cancer.

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