Dr Lee: Reduce salt intake, reduce hypertension risks

Dr Lee (fourth left) officiating at the World Salt Awareness Week 2019 at Summer Mall.

By Nigel Edgar

KOTA SAMARAHAN, April 13: The Health Ministry is challenging Sarawakians to consume only one teaspoon of salt in all their meals per day.

Its deputy minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye, said this was to curb the main noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) that have been plaguing a lot of Malaysians in this day and age.

Among the diseases that is affected by excessive intake of salt or excessive intake of food containing high monosodium glutamate includes high blood pressure or hypertension, which could lead to heart diseases as well as kidney diseases.

“Four out of five Malaysians consume more than the recommended amount of salt each day. The recommended amount should be about 5g or about one teaspoon per day.


“We know that excessive intake of salt can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension, which could lead to stroke, heart diseases and kidney failure,” he said.

Dr Lee Boon Chye

Dr Lee was speaking to reporters after officiating at the World Salt Awareness Week 2019 at the Summer Mall here this afternoon.

He said consuming less salt could significantly reduce the risk of contracting the said NCDs.

He highlighted several local foods that typically contains more than 5g of salt in them per serving. They are fried vegetables, scrambled eggs, fried chicken, fried rice, nasi lemak, fried noodles, curry, instant noodles and even the `kolok’ mee and `kampua’ mee.

Citing statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Lee highlighted that heart diseases were the number one natural killers in Malaysia.

“In 2016, 35 per cent of deaths in Malaysia were caused by heart diseases. Also according to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015, one out of three or about 30 per cent of Malaysians suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension.

“Because of that, WHO is recommending Malaysians to consume no more than 5g or one teaspoon of salt per day in all of their meals,” he said. — DayakDaily