Cutting salt could save your life, reminds Philadelphia health initiative

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A new campaign at the Philadelphia Health Department is urging people to grab the salt shaker less often and rethink their diet. 

Through the Healthy Philly initiative, city health workers are reminding residents about the connection between excessive salt and stroke.

Dr. Giridhar Mallya, policy director for the city Department of Public Health, said the word stroke gets people’s attention.

“What this campaign really focuses on is the link between eating too much salt, having high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke,” Mallya said. “What we found in talking with a lot of Philadelphians is that stroke is something people know about. It’s something that raises their level of attention, and it’s something that is scary for them.”

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Almost 16,000 suffer a stroke every year in Philadelphia; it’s the third-leading cause of death in the city.

Changes could require cutting back on that Philadelphia staple, the hoagie.

“Eat that takeout meal one less time per week. Avoid pizza and deli meats, which are two of the leading sources of sodium in the diet, Mallya advised. “Just even cutting back a small amount of salt in their diet on a daily basis can make a big difference in their health.”

The city is also working with restaurants to cut down on sodium and list salt content on menus.


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