The Food Nazis stepped up their attack on our diet this week with a new scathing report about how salt is bad for us, and the government must step in to "help" us.
From the Centers for Disease Control:"For American Heart Month, the February edition of CDC Vital Signs focuses on the amount of sodium in Americans' diets and what we can do to reduce it. Too much sodium increases a person's risk for high blood pressure.
Except when it doesn't:
From the LA Times - "High salt consumption not dangerous, new European study finds"
May 03, 2011 By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
"Low levels of salt consumption are associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular disease and deaths, European researchers reported Tuesday...the University of Leuven in Belgium studied 2,856 people who did not have hypertension or cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study. The group was then divided into thirds based on salt excretion and monitored for as long as 7.9 years. No association between salt intake and hypertension was observed.
Again from the Centers for Disease control:
Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants. Sodium is already part of processed foods and cannot be removed. Learn what you can do to reduce sodium in your diet.
Highlights from the report-
- About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.
- Reducing the sodium Americans eat by 1,200 mg per day on average could save up to $20 billion a year in medical costs.
- Types of foods matter—More than 40% of sodium comes from the following 10 types of foods: breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats such as deli or packaged ham or turkey, pizza, fresh and processed poultry, soups, sandwiches such as cheeseburgers, cheese, pasta dishes, meat mixed dishes such as meat loaf with tomato sauce, and snacks such as chips, pretzels, and popcorn.
"The Federal government is:
- Using the national "Million Hearts™" initiative to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years (http://millionhearts.hhs.gov). Reducing sodium in the population is a major part of this initiative.
- Encouraging its agencies and departments to adopt the HHS/GSA or similar procurement guidelines that define how much sodium there can be in products that are sold or served in their facilities (www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/guidelines/food-service-guidelines.htm).
- Improving data collection on sodium, including the amount of sodium people consume, and their knowledge, behaviors and health outcomes.