Too much sodium can have serious long-term health effects. But many Canadians don’t realize they regularly consume dangerous levels of salt on a daily basis. That’s because most of the sodium we consume is added to food products, such as sauces, canned vegetables, and salad dressings, before we take them home. About 80 per cent of our sodium intake comes from packaged or processed foods. Now, a group of researchers has created a tool to help Canadians understand how much salt they’re getting and the biggest sources. Researchers from the University of Toronto, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences have developed an online salt calculator at projectbiglife.ca. It asks users a series of questions, such as how often they eat out, how many times a week they consume frozen or canned dishes and how often they use condiments in their meals, to estimate total sodium consumption...The concern is that a diet high in sodium is a major risk factor for high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and other serious health problems. High sodium intake has also been linked to osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney problems. Sodium is a controllable risk factor for these problems, which is why so many health professionals are urging governments to take action on the issue.