Restaurants to cut down salt, sugar in food

Restaurants to cut down salt, sugar in food

ANKARA
Restaurants to cut down salt, sugar in food

Turkey’s Health Ministry has signed a protocol with pastry shops and restaurants in a bid to reduce the amount of salt and sugar added to the food by 4-5 percent.

“As Turks, we love generous portions. The first step to a healthy diet should be eating and drinking just enough to satisfy our daily needs. Another fact that we need to be careful about is the salt and sugar consumption, even in small portions,” said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca during the signing ceremony on Feb. 18.

Koca stressed that in 2008, Turkey’s salt consumption per capita was 18 grams on a daily basis and with recent developments, and this figure has now decreased to 9.9 grams.

“Still, this is twice of the amount World Health Organization (WHO) advises. The suggested amount is 5 grams, which corresponds to a tea spoon,” the minister said.

“We have achieved to reduce the amount of salt by 24 percent in a loaf of bread, 64 percent in tomato paste and 50 percent in olives. I am calling out to restaurant owners, you shall remove the salt-cellars from your tables as well. Those who support our cause will receive certificates,” he added.

Koca also underlined that excessive consumption of salt triggers hypertension and is correlated with gastric cancer, kidney diseases, and heart attacks.

Gökhan Turfan, the head of Confederation for Chefs and Confectioners, has said instead of salt, people can instead consume fresh and dried spices.

“Potassium consumption is very important. This needs to be balanced,” he said.

Turkey, Health Ministry, restaurants in Turkey