The Pendleton Panther

Limiting Salt Intake would boost Nation’s Health

Posted on: January 23, 2010

Salt.

Americans consume an alarmingly high amount of salt daily in all the fatty junk foods we have grown accustomed to eating. A new study by the New England Journal of Medicine published on Health.com highlights that reducing salt intake by just half a teaspoon a day could produce health benefits such as the reduction of high cholesterol, smoking, or obesity. The number of heart attacks could decline by up to 13 percent, and the cases of heart disease as well as stroke could decline by up to 11 and 8 percent each. The study indicates that any reduction in the nation’s average daily salt intake would be extremely beneficial. The main perpetrators behind the immense amount of salt intake are the food manufacturers of the United States. The processed foods sector is the one who needs to have limits put on them. The salt in their food accounts for around 75 to 80 percent of the average Americans daily salt intake.

The salt intake levels are directly proportional to blood pressure levels and then to cardiovascular risks.

According to the article on CNN, “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults limit their daily salt intake to 5.8 grams, or about 2,300 milligrams of sodium. (Sodium is a component of table salt.) People who are especially sensitive to salt — such as blacks, hypertensives, and adults over 40 — should limit their intake to 3.7 grams a day, or about 1,500 milligrams of sodium, the agency says. The average American eats far more than the recommended amount of salt in a day, however. American men and women consume about 4,178 and 2,933 milligrams of sodium per day, respectively, government data show.”

This is especially alarming since most of us do not know or understand the makeup of the food we consume. Let’s hope that we can all live healthier lives and reduce our intake of processed foods and salt. Thus, we will have much brighter futures to look forward to as well as a more fulfilling enjoyment in life.

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