H.'salt addiction'

Why our salt addiction is hard to kick - CNN.com

Cutting back on sodium would almost certainly be good for the country's health. The average American consumes nearly 50 percent more sodium than experts recommend, most of it from processed foods.

Though it adds flavor and helps preserve food, all that sodium can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. (Sodium is a component of table salt, but they're not the same thing.)

The fact is, experts say, the American palate has become so accustomed to the high levels of sodium and salt added to our meals that the only way to kick the habit may be to wean ourselves off it slowly.

More than three-quarters of our sodium intake comes from processed foods, while only about 6 percent comes from the saltshakers on our dinner tables, by some estimates.

"Get rid of all the processed foods, canned soups -- all the things that have high salt," advises Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City. "We should never eat processed or packaged foods -- never, ever, ever. Never go to the market and get something out of the frozen food section, because those usually are very high in sodium." Even soft drinks contain a lot of hidden salt, Dr. Steinbaum says. If you must buy packaged foods such as bread, soup, and breakfast cereals, try to select products that are labeled "reduced salt" or "no salt added."

When you're at home preparing dinner, don't salt a dish without tasting it first, even if you're preparing food from scratch, Dr. Steinbaum says. Likewise, Gazzaniga Moloo suggests adding salt at the end of cooking, or when it's already on the table. "You're going to get maximum flavor from it at that point, and you'll be able to use the least amount " she says.

Substituting other herbs and spices for salt can prevent dishes from tasting too bland, as can using more lemon juice and vinegar. "That can mask using less salt," says Gazzaniga Moloo, who points out that reducing portion sizes will automatically cut down on salt.

Finally, says Lichtenstein, "Make sure there's no saltshaker on the table, because sometimes people just automatically add salt regardless of whether the food needs it."

More :

New diet guidelines should slash salt intake

Cut daily sodium allowance from 2,300 mg to 1,500 mg, panel advises

Associated Press Writer
updated 11:54 a.m. ET June 15, 2010

WASHINGTON - An advisory panel is encouraging the government to recommend that Americans reduce their salt intake — even though they acknowledge that it won't be easy.
The panel, appointed by the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments, makes dietary recommendations every five years that serve as the basis for the government's popular food pyramid and for a range of federal nutrition programs, including school lunches.
This year's preliminary recommendations, which will be reviewed by the agencies and open to the public for comment, suggest that daily sodium intake should be reduced from 2,300 mg to 1,500 mg per day. Current guidelines recommend the higher amount.
That recommendation follows that of the prestigious Institute of Medicine, which said earlier this year that people need just 1,500 mg daily for good health, less if they're over 50. Average consumption is more than 3,400 mg.
The panel says it will be "challenging to achieve the lower level" and that the reduction in sodium should take place gradually over time. They do not say how gradually the reduction should be.
The report says Americans of all ages don't consume enough vegetables, fruits, seafood, high-fiber whole grains, low-fat milk or milk products. At the same time, people eat too many added sugars, solid fats, refined grains and sodium.
A final version of the dietary guidelines is expected by the end of the year. Other recommendations by the advisory committee include:
Shifting dietary patterns to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds
Improving nutrition education, cooking skills and safe food handling know-how for families with children, in particular, to motivate them to prepare and consume healthy foods at home
Improving affordability of fresh produce and other healthy foods.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment