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Sodium Consumption in Israel Almost Twice the Recommended Amount (June 5, 2018).

National study says level of salt consumption has not fallen in last five years despite Health Ministry plan.

A national study by the Health Ministry found that the consumption of sodium in Israel is very high — almost double the recommended amount, at an average of over 9.5 grams of salt a day compared to the recommended 5 to 6 grams.

High consumption of sodium increases the danger of developing many diseases, including hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, stomach cancer and kidney failure. Most of the salt comes from processed food (75 percent). About 15 percent comes from adding table salt during cooking and at meals, and only 10 percent occurs naturally in food.

In 2013 the Health Ministry embarked on a national program to reduce sodium consumption, with a target of reducing average consumption to 2.3 grams daily or less (about a teaspoon), instead of 9 to 10 grams, thereby reducing consumption by at least a third.

The program aimed to gradually lower the amounts of salt added to processed foods in Israel, through cooperation with the industry, trade groups and the health maintenance organizations. The recommendation was to reduce salt consumption gradually through awareness and informed buying.

Recommendations included reading labels and preferring foods with less sodium, or using alternative seasoning including fresh and dried herbs. Five years have passed, and according to the new survey sodium consumption remains unchanged.

Israel map

Salt intake (g/day) in Israel (2018)

Men 10.9
Women 8.5
All (n=639) 9.5

Method: 24h urine collection