Publication Details

Menyanu, E., Russell, J. & Charlton, K. (2019). Dietary Sources of Salt in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Literature Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (12), 2082-1-2082-17.


Rapid urbanization in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is transforming dietary patterns from reliance on traditional staples to increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars, and salt. A systematic literature review was conducted to determine major food sources of salt in LMICs that could be targeted in strategies to lower population salt intake. Articles were sourced using Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, and grey literature. Inclusion criteria were: reported dietary intake of Na/salt using dietary assessment methods and food composition tables and/or laboratory analysis of salt content of specific foods in populations in countries defined as low or middle income (LMIC) according to World Bank criteria. Of the 3207 records retrieved, 15 studies conducted in 12 LMICs from diverse geographical regions met the eligibility criteria. The major sources of dietary salt were breads, meat and meat products, bakery products, instant noodles, salted preserved foods, milk and dairy products, and condiments. Identification of foods that contribute to salt intake in LMICs allows for development of multi-faceted approaches to salt reduction that include consumer education, accompanied by product reformulation.



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