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Salt and walking key to heart day

Monday September 29th, 2014

Less salt and more walking are among remedies promoted today as the world is urged to take care of its heart.

For World Heart Day, the World Health Organisation was promoting reducing salt levels in the diet.

It said millions of lives would be saved by cutting salt levels in diet globally by 30%.

Meanwhile the European Society of Cardiology called for "heart healthy" environments, urging the public to take on more walking and simple forms of exercise such as Tai Chi.

Dr Oleg Chestnov, of the WHO, said: "If the target to reduce salt by 30% globally by 2025 is achieved, millions of lives can be saved from heart disease, stroke and related conditions.

“Salt is in almost everything we eat, either because high levels of salt are found in most processed and prepared foods, or because we are adding salt when we prepare food at home."

Professor Pedro Marques-Vidal, from the European Society of Cardiology, said: "Walking is the easiest way to exercise and improve your heart health, and it also has considerable environmental benefits. In heavily populated cities improving pedestrian walkways could decrease pollution and increase quality of life."

* Meanwhile the British Heart Foundation highlighted general ignorance among the public of how to prevent heart disease.

It found that just 2% of people said they were afraid of heart disease and that 90% believed they would experience symptoms from high blood pressure.

As many as 50% did not know that diabetes could trigger heart disease and 19% did not know there was a link with smoking.

Associate medical director Dr Mike Knapton said: “Your heart is the most vital organ in your body, but all too often we take it for granted. Despite being a largely preventable condition, coronary heart disease is still the UK’s single biggest killer, causing unnecessary heartache for thousands of families."

Tags: Diet & Food | Europe | Fitness | Heart Health | UK News | World Health

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