Kazakh university to produce reduced salt bread to improve health

NUR-SULTAN – The Saken Seifullin Kazakh AgroTechnical University experimental bread and bakery production plant will start supplying reduced salt bread for its students and teachers. The action will be one of the key measures in preventing noncommunicable disease.

Photo credit: ortcom.kz.

“Excessive salt intake leads to metabolic disturbances in the body, such as water-salt balance disturbances, salt accumulation in the body, tooth damage, gastritis and stomach ulcers. It causes the aging process to accelerate. Excessive salt intake increases blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and strokes,” said Emina Ilyasova, head of the city’s polyclinic No. 3 therapeutic department.

In July, the National Centre of Public Health and AgroTechnical University signed a memorandum of cooperation with the main goal of modifying bread and bakery product recipes by gradually reducing the salt content. The changes will develop a strong nutritional culture and strengthen young people’s health.

The decision to specifically reduce salt in bread was based on World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, which noted the most effective way to begin decreasing sodium is with mass consumption products. They hope other manufacturers will support the initiative and start reducing salt in their items.

The health centre and university agreed that, over time, medical organisations must realise their new mission – to teach the population about a healthy lifestyle, preventive measures and proper nutrition. At the primary healthcare level, the most important guidelines to develop the future health protection system, such as From Illness to Health and to Educate and Take Care instead of Treating, must be followed.

“Parents should teach their children about the dangers of salt and unhealthy diets. In school, it is also vital to start educating children on the importance of a healthy diet from the first grade. If correctly explained, the children will quickly understand everything; they will never drink nor eat a harmful product,” said Ilyasova.

“By eating right today, we are taking care of our health in advance for many years,” she added.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!