Many Americans are trying to limit the amount of salt in their diets. They know that reducing sodium intake can help lower blood pressure and reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
But restaurants aren't making it easy to cut back, according to a new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
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What one line do you find in nearly every savory recipe? “Season with salt and pepper.”
But not all salts and peppers are created equal. Here are 12 we like to cook with.
Most packaged meals and snacks marketed to toddlers have more than the recommended amount of sodium per serving, meaning children as young as one are most likely eating far too much salt early in life, according to one of several studies on sodium presented last week.
The studies were presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.
The findings were alarming to researchers since there is evidence a child's sodium intake is related to the likelihood that he or she will develop hypertension as an adult. Hypertension is a major risk factor of cardiovascular disease and the number-one killer of men and women in the United States.
Nine out of ten adult Americans eat too much salt each day, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it's not what we add at the dinner table that's the problem.
"These diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs," says CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
The CDC found that 10 types of foods accounted for more than 40% of the sodium people consumed.
CNN Health has the full list
Previously - How to defeat sneaky salt
Guests at restaurants in Argentina's Buenos Aires province must say good-bye to the salt shaker.
In an effort to combat hypertension, which affects some 3.7 million residents in the province – nearly a quarter of the population, the health department reached an agreement with the hotel and restaurant federation to remove salt shakers from the tables at their eateries.
"On average, each Argentinian consumes 13 grams of salt daily, while according to the World Health Organization, you should consume less than five," Health Minister Alejandro Collia said when he announced the change last month.
The measure is not as extreme as it sounds. Salt will be available by request, but only after the patrons have tasted their food.
Yes, you can still have that bottle of microbrew (just the one, mind you - the new Dietary Guidelines and all), but you'd better step away from the pretzel bowl. Oh, you were going to skip those and just order right from the bar menu? Great! What'll you have?
You're watching your fat intake - right there with you. So it'll be the grilled chicken breast sandwich and a salad instead of fries. With what dressing? The light Italian? Sounds great.
Your sodium count will be…the sandwich is gonna run you around 1300 mg (380 mg for the bun alone), and the dressing about 480 mg. The beer is a bargain at 11 mg.
And how will you be paying for that?
So – you've had a day to sit with the government's new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and pore through all 100-ish pages, right? There's plenty of smart health advice in there (we'll walk you through that later this afternoon) but here's what stuck out for most folks. From CNN Medical Unit's Val Willingham's report yesterday:
It's often hard to wrap your head around grams and milligrams, but a teaspoon - have you taken that out of the drawer and had a peek since yesterday? That's not a lot of rock, and as Americans, we've developed a serious addiction to this stuff. Will this be an issue for you?