Extra! Korea

May 2, 2009

Salt in the Korean diet

Filed under: food, health — extrakorea @ 2:35 pm

The Chosun Ilbo has an article, similar to this one that I posted about before, describing how Korean staples like kimchi are high in salt.

Excessive intake of salt is a determining cause for Korea’s top three killer diseases — cancer, stroke and heart disease. According to a report on public health in 2005, Koreans consume a daily average of 13 g of salt, almost three times more than the 5 g recommended by the World Health Organization.

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Excessive salt consumption has been linked to high blood pressure, cardiac trouble, stroke, kidney trouble, gastric cancer, osteoporosis and even obesity.

[ snip ]

The problem is that Koreans take in half the salt they consume from their staple diet, whereas Westerners get most salt from processed food. According to a report by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) in 2006, the main sources of natrium for Koreans were kimchi (25 percent), traditional seasoning sauces (22 percent) and salt (20 percent).

[ snip ]

According to the KFDA report, a bowl of noodles contains 7.3 g of salt, already way more than the recommended 5 g. A bowl of instant noodle or ramyeon has 5.3 g, a bowl of cold noodles 4.5 g, kimchi 2.5 g per 100 g and a bowl of soy bean paste stew 2.4 g. In comparison, a slice of pizza contains 3.3 g and a hamburger 2.3 g.

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