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SACN COT potassium-based sodium replacers
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) and Committee on Toxicity (COT) FINALLY release a joint report supporting the use of potassium-based sodium replacers
In 2013, SACN was asked by the Department of Health to advise on the use of potassium-based sodium replacers to reduce the sodium content of foods.
Sodium is the part of salt that puts up our blood pressure. Potassium-based sodium replacers were not originally included in the UK's salt reduction programme as there were concerns that increasing potassium consumption could be hazardous for some, for example, those with undiagnosed kidney disease. It was also preferred to reduce the population's taste preference for salty foods by reducing salt content.
In their report released in November 2017, SACN, in collaboration with COT, found that the potential benefits of using potassium-based sodium replacers outweighed any perceived risks, and would have a large impact at the population level. They recommended that the government should encourage the food industry to consider the use of sodium replacers to reduce the sodium content of food.
The full report is available to download below.
Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK says, "Whilst we welcome the findings from the report, we do question why this research has only just been published? We’ve known for many years that potassium based sodium replacers help reduce sodium in foods and outweigh the potential health risks. The government must now act swiftly to set new targets and proactively encourage food companies across different categories to explore the use of potassium-based sodium replacers to help reduce sodium levels in foods, and to stop thousands of people suffering and dying unnecessarily from strokes and heart disease"
Katharine Jenner, CEO of Blood Pressure UK says, "Salt is unnaturally added to food in huge amounts and is putting up our blood pressure. Conversely, potassium is contained naturally in fruit and veg and lowers our blood pressure. This advice will pave the way for thousands of food products to lower their salt levels, whilst still being tasty and safe to eat. What’s more, it will stop thousands of people suffering and dying unnecessarily from strokes and heart disease"