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The average Canadian consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day – more than double the recommended intake.

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A group that advises doctors on how to best help patients prevent high blood pressure has updated its advice on how much sodium Canadians should ingest in their diets.

Hypertension Canada has raised the recommended amount of daily sodium intake to 2,000 milligrams, the equivalent of roughly one teaspoon of salt.

The group's task force on sodium consumption raised the amount from 1,500 mg after reviewing the latest studies on the effects of salt on blood pressure.

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Task-force co-chairman Dr. Raj Padwal says research shows that cutting salt intake to 2,000 mg a day can significantly improve blood pressure.

Padwal says getting Canadian adults to limit sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day from the estimated current average of 3,400 mg is likely not feasible.

The University of Alberta internal medicine specialist says most sodium comes from processed foods. He says eating whole fresh foods like fruits and vegetables will automatically curb salt intake.

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