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Posted by on Jan 16, 2010 in Korean Culture, Korean Food | 0 comments

Japanese study finds salty foods may increase cancer risk

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports, 

Increased intake of salt may boost the risk of heart disease, while increased consumption of salted foods may increase the risk of cancer, says a new study from Japan. … Statistical analysis showed that people with the highest intakes of sodium – 6,844 milligrams, equivalent to about 17 grams of salt – had a 19 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to people with the lowest average intakes – 3,084 milligrams of sodium, equivalent to about 7 grams of salt.

The Chosun Ilbo quoted the World Health Organization stating that Koreans eat an average of 13.4 grams of salt per day. Korean researchers are looking into this important health issue since Korea’s top three killer diseases — cancer, stroke and heart disease–are all linked to the over-consumption of salt. The government is calling upon Koreans to reduce their consumption of staple foods like kimchi and ramen.

To me, that’s like asking a Brit to stop eating fish and chips or asking a Texan to give up their brisket BBQ. However, with the advent of refrigeration, Koreans could do a lot to reduce their salt intake by reducing the amount of salt in their traditional homemade kimchi recipes since you only need enough salt for flavor rather than preservation.

For more information, read Salted foods may increase cancer risk: Japanese study

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