We Should All Cut the Salt...

Reminds me of that Bob Dylan song, “Everybody must get…” You know how it goes, but seriously, Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D. thinks we all should cut back on the salt. Jill Daly of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:
The hidden store of salt lies in processed foods, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., nutritionist and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center.


That's where most people double their recommended daily dose of 2,300 to 2,500 milligrams of salt.

"Ten percent comes from table salt; 75 percent comes from processed foods, like ketchup, soy sauce," she says, adding that by putting soy sauce on sushi, a healthy dish becomes a hazard.

She says a quick reading of a product's label reveals the high salt content of condiments, canned soups, rice and noodle mixes, macaroni and cheese, frozen foods, cereals, breads and deli meats.

Among those urging FDA action to reduce excess salt in food at a recent hearing in Washington, D.C., was the American Medical Association.

"The need for immediate action is clear," said Dr. Stephen Havas, AMA vice president for science, quality and public health. "The deaths attributed to excess salt consumption represent a huge toll -- the equivalent of a jumbo jet with more than 400 passengers crashing every day of the year, year after year."
Great quote by Dr. Havas. Now, I’ve talked about it before, but, it always bears repeating. Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of salt, and, he also thinks we should do our best to avoid it. Here’s a conglomeration of his comments on salt. Enjoy:
Salt addiction has developed throughout civilization in the last 5000 years, creating a worldwide epidemic of high blood pressure and resultant strokes. Besides fatigue, cravings, and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, salt use gradually deadens your taste1…


…High salt intake, and resultant high blood pressure later in life, does not merely increase the risk and incidence of stroke. It also can lead to kidney failure, congestive heart failure, and heart attack. Salt consumption is linked to both stomach cancer and hypertension.2 For optimal health, I recommend that no salt at all be added to any food…

…High salt intake also contributes to flushing your bone mass down the toilet bowl. Excessive stimulation of bone turnover also causes an increase in bone breakdown and remodeling, which can lead to osteoarthritis and calcium deposits in other tissues. The presence of this bone material in the urinary tract also lays the foundation for calcium-based kidney stones.
Salt content, is a major reason why I hardly eat any processed or canned foods—Yuck!
1. Obarzanek, E., F.M. Sacks, T.J. Moore, et al. 2000. Dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH)—sodium trial. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, May 17, New York, NY. De Wardener HE. Sodium and hypertension

2. Joosens, J.V., M.J. Hill, P. Elliot, et al. 1996. Dietary salt, nitrate and stomach cancer mortality in 24 countries: European Cancer Prevention (ECP) and the INTERSALT Cooperative Research Group. Int. J. Epidemiol. 3:494-504.
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Louise - December 30, 2007 11:33 AM

Great blog entry, Gerald!

Here's a fantastic article by the Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/NU00284 , which lists a typical day's salt:

Breakfast
Scrambled eggs, 2 large 342 mg
Bacon, 1 slice 192 mg
Whole-wheat bread, 1 slice 148 mg
Butter, 2 teaspoons 54 mg
Total sodium for meal 736 mg

Lunch
Whole-wheat bread, 2 slices 296 mg
Ham, luncheon meat, 1 slice 350 mg
Mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon 105 mg
Dill pickle, 1 spear 385 mg
Pretzels, 1 ounce 486 mg
Orange, 1 large 0 mg
Total sodium for meal 1,622 mg

Dinner
Spaghetti noodles, 1 cup 179 mg
Spaghetti sauce, 1/2 cup 601 mg
Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon 76 mg
Green beans, canned, 1/2 cup 177 mg
Garlic bread, 1 slice 200 mg
Total sodium for meal 1,233 mg

Total sodium for the day 3,591 mg

Source: Department of Agriculture, Nutrient Data Laboratory, 2005

Shows how it adds up!

The Mayo Clinic article will be referenced in my new website, No-Salt-Added.com, as soon as it's online (soon)!

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