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Watch Out For The Salt!


Have you ever taken the time read the nutrition section on the Noodles packs? Did you ever realize that there was so much sodium in noodles! It can range anywhere between 800 mg to way over 1000 mg. Keep in mind that our suggested sodium intake should be no more 2,300 mg. For those who suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension, the sodium intake should not go over 1,500 mg.

On average, we Americans eat 3,300 mg of sodium a day because salt is in everything we eat: bread, cheese, fast food, soup, and even cereal. No more than 10% of salt comes from the salt shaker, and only 10% of salt comes naturally in foods. That means that the other 80% is just from processing.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has decided to approach the government as well as the food industry to reduce levels of salt in processed food which is pretty much any packaged food. The American Medical Association recommended that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should limit the amount of salt allowed in food. Also, the AMA asked the FDA to remove the status of salt as a substance that is considered to be safe and deem salt as a food additive. If the FDA were to listen to the AMA, they would have to quickly find a replacement for the additive and flavor enhancer.

The FDA has never solicited commentary but the organization has mentioned that they are open for a hearing on the health issues of high sodium intake. There have also been discussions between the Salt Institute (didn't think there was such a thing, did you?) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The Salt Institute has pushed for the DHHS to finance a comprehensive study about the health effects of salt. But here is no word as to whether that study will be conducted or not. Funding is really an overall deciding factor. The Center for Food and Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) has had their budget cut from 47.6 million to 25 million in four years. And the CFSAN is an organization where most food regulations take place.

Many thousands of Americans die each year because of gradual health effects that were caused by high sodium diets. The FDA also says that they have paid attention to the sodium issue by placing sodium on the nutritional value label and by defining low salt products. So some are a bit weary of believing that the FDA is interested in a hearing, especially since the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has mention a sodium problem in processed food more than 23 years ago.

In addition to the AMA, other groups like the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (NASIM) and the governments National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have know for at least 20 years that a high salt consumption can lead to high blood pressure, hypertension, and contributes to heart disease (the No.1 cause of death in America) and stroke (the No. 3 cause of death America). The NHLBI conducted a study in 2004 that concluded that 150,000 lives could be saved on a yearly basis if sodium levels were decreased by half.

Submitted by:

Carl Hampton





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