New Delhi: A frantic lifestyle, long working hours and even longer distances to commute in metros and cities make ready-to-eat packaged food an attractive option, which requires only a few minutes of warming.But the flip side is that their salt content is on the higher side. So regular dependence on fast food or packaged foods promotes greater salt intake, which accumulates in the body and poses serious health risks.These risks are rising blood pressure (BP) levels, which could act as trigger for cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, besides cerebral strokes, as well as kidney failure, B. Sesikeran, director of Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), told the IANS. "Several global studies have clearly indicated that reduction in salt intakes even by small quantities significantly decreases the average blood pressure of a population. The prevalence of hypertension is low among populations consuming less than three grams of salt daily. The usual increase in BP with age is also not seen with such (low) intakes," Sesikeran said. Last week, the NIN recommended a reduction of salt content by the packaged food industry, besides limiting maximum salt intake to six grams per day, down from the eight grams permitted under 1998 nutritional guidelines.
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