London: Reducing intake of salty foods such as bacon, bread and breakfast cereals may reduce people`s risk of developing stomach cancer, a UK charity has suggested.
World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) – a UK charity that gives advice on how cancer can be prevented through diet, physical activity and weight –wants people to eat less salt and for the content of food to be labelled more clearly.
In the UK, one-in-seven stomach cancers would be prevented if people kept to daily guidelines, according to the WCRF.
Cancer Research UK said this figure could be even higher.
Too much salt is bad for blood pressure and can lead to heart disease and stroke, but it can also cause cancer.
The recommended daily limit is 6g, about a level teaspoonful, but the World Cancer Research Fund said people were eating 8.6g a day.
“Stomach cancer is difficult to treat successfully because most cases are not caught until the disease is well-established,” the BBC quoted Kate Mendoza, head of health information at WCRF, as saying.
“This places even greater emphasis on making lifestyle choices to prevent the disease occurring in the first place - such as cutting down on salt intake and eating more fruit and vegetables,” she noted.
Eating too much salt is not all about sprinkling it over fish and chips or Sunday lunch, the vast majority is already inside food.
It is why the WCRF has called for a “traffic-light” system for food labelling - red for high, amber for medium and green for low.
However, this has proved controversial with many food manufacturers and supermarkets preferring other ways of labelling food.
Lucy Boyd, from Cancer Research UK, said: “This research confirms what a recently published report from Cancer Research UK has shown - too much salt also contributes considerably to the number of people getting stomach cancer in the UK.
“On average people in Britain eat too much salt and intake is highest in men. Improved labelling - such as traffic light labelling - could be a useful step to help consumers cut down,” Boyd suggested.