February 3/Bethesda, Md./American Journal of Clinical Nutrition -- The World Health Organization recommends an intake of 5g of sodium each day; however, average daily consumption can be from 10-12g. Over 80% of sodium intake comes from processed foods, in which many do not recognize how much salt they are actually consuming.

Along with cardiovascular risks, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that salted foods can increase cancer risks. Researchers in Japan recruited approximately 80,000 men and women (aged 45 to 74) to determine the frequency of sodium intake with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

After a three-year follow-up, 4,476 cases of cancer and 2,066 cases of heart disease were reported. Heart disease risks were 19% higher among subjects that consumed 17g of salt (the highest intake), when compared to subjects consuming 7g of salt (the lowest intake). While sodium and salt were not linked to cancer, the consumption of salted foods (dried fish, pickled vegetables, fish roe, etc.) did increase cancer risks, specifically colon, gastric, and lung cancer.

A possible factor in this increase is the presence of nitrate and nitrite preservatives in salted foods.

 From the February 6, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.