Cutting back on the amount of salt we consume could save one-in-seven stomach cancers, according to a new report by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
Salty foods such as bacon, bread and breakfast cereals could be increasing the amount of stomach cancer sufferers in the country. A new report by the WCRF has advised people to track their salt consumption, and has called for food manufacturers to label products more clearly.
High salt intake can increase blood pressure and can lead to heart disease and stroke, but it can also cause cancer. It is recommended that people consume a maximum of six grams of salt per day, but the WCRF report found that people were actually eating closer to 8.6g a day.
Kate Mendoza, head of health information at the WCRF, said: “Stomach cancer is difficult to treat successfully because most cases are not caught until the disease is well-established.” Another problem is that most of the salt that we consume is already in the food itself, which means cutting back how much we sprinkle on top isn’t a viable solution to the problem.
That is why the WCRF has called for a ‘traffic-light’ system to be implemented that would label food more clearly. Similar methods are already in place for information such as calorie intake and fat content, and the health organisation want to have salt levels labelled red, amber and green.
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.”