Don’t As-SALT Yourself!

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Salt by Salt Shaker   Original Filename: 6507-000073.jpg

DON’T AS-SALT YOURSELF!

Salt can play an active role in raising the blood pressure in people who are salt sensitive. Risk factors that can’t be controlled are: AGE (THE OLDER YOU GET THE MORE LIKELY YOU ARE TO DEVELOP HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE), RACE (AFRICAN AMERICANS TEND TO HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MORE OFTEN THAN OTHERS), HEREDITY(IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY, YOU ARE SIGNIFICANTLY MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP IT).

There is no test for salt sensitivity so everyone should limit Sodium intake to 2,400 milligrams or 1 teaspoon of salt per day. Children, adults middle age or older, anyone with hypertension and African Americans should have closer to 1,50 milligrams each day.

An article in the NY Times, 5/30/10 says that deep cuts in salt consumption could save 150,000 lives each year. The Institute of Medicine and Mayor Bloomberg are urging the government to force companies to reduce their use of salt.  Companies are fighting back because salt is a low cost way to create taste and texture. Therefore replacing it with more expensive ingredients risks losing profits! Salt in tandem with fat and sugar achieves flavors that grip the consumer and do not let go.

EXAMPLE: CHEEZ-IT’S: THE SALT GIVES IT THE COLOR, THE CRUNCH, THE QUICK BUZZ TO THE TONGUE, BLOCKS THE TANG AND 1 CUP GIVES YOU 1/3 OF THE RECOMMENDED SODIUM FOR THE DAY.  ONE CAN OF CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP HAS MORE THAN A WHOLE DAY’S RECOMMENDED SODIUM.

While low calorie sweeteners opened a huge market of people eager to look better, salt is only a health concern which doesn’t have the same market potential for these companies.

The FDA acknowledges that salt is a serious concern and the agency will work towards consumer education and potentially regulation.

In the meantime, realize that foods contain TONS OF SODIUM for processing, packaging, preserving and flavor…..SO READ LABELS!

If you have high blood pressure already you should reduce your salt intake, lose any excess weight, increase your exercise, if you smoke- QUIT NOW and in some cases your doctor may suggest medication.

REMEMBER THAT SALT SHAKERS ARE FOR DECORATION ONLY!

-Jenifer

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