Stroke warning: The ‘hidden’ ingredient that raises your risk – eaten by millions

Lorraine discusses Victoria Beckham's 'salt on toast' snack

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Two of the most effective are eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

One of the major factors to consider in the former is managing salt intake.

High salt consumption is one of the major risk factors for high blood pressure, the leading cause of stroke.

Charity Stroke UK says: “Much of the salt we eat is ‘hidden’ in processed foods like ready meals, crisps, nuts, cakes, and biscuits, and processed meats.”

Stroke UK recommends an individual should: “Avoid adding salt to food when cooking or at the table. Try using fresh ginger, lemon juice, chillies or dried herbs and spices to flavour food instead.”

It adds: “Some people use low-sodium salt products to help them cut down on salt.

“Make sure you check with your GP or pharmacist before using them, as they are not suitable for people with kidney problems and those using medication that affects your potassium levels.”

Other risk factors for stroke include lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking.

Despite widely accepted guidance that salt intake should be kept to a minimum, one country is trying to raise theirs in a bid to fight COVID-19.

Unlike most nations, North Korea is taking an unusual approach to fighting the virus.

While most countries are using vaccines and anti-viral treatments, North Korea is recommending the gargling of salt water.

One thousand tonnes of salt have been reportedly sent to Pyongyang to form part of an “antiseptic solution” according to state media.

As well as gargling salt water, the country has also recommended alternative remedies to treat Covid such as drinking herbal tea and taking a dose of ibuprofen.

Despite some studies suggesting gargling salt water could help combat the common cold virus, there is no evidence to suggest it can be used to prevent or treat COVID-19.

North Korea has a much weaker health system than others and does not have the same resources to combat the virus.

In recent months it has rejected offers of help from China and South Korea, both of whom offered doses of vaccines.

Meanwhile, as North Korea continues its fight with COVID-19, the UK is dealing with an outbreak of monkeypox, an infectious disease originating in Africa.

So far, 20 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the UK.

Despite a higher-than-normal case number, health experts have reassured the public their risk of catching the virus is low.

Those diagnosed with monkeypox have been asked to self-isolate.

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