Salt Matters Preserving Choice Protecting Health Extended Version
We can't see most of the salt we eat.We didn't ask for it and we don't even know it's there.It's hidden in the processed, packaged food we buy at the grocery store or in the meals we order at restaurants.Hidden salt leads most us adults to eat many times more sodium than we need.Even those who try to watch what they eat may not realize just how much salt is in our food.Many americans don't know that unseen salt drives up their blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke,.
Which are the first and third leading causes of death in the united states.We've made great progress lowering blood pressure across the nation, but we're not even close to ending the problem.Onethird of us adults have high blood pressure and another quarter have levels above the desirable range.We know what works.We can take action now.Scientific evidence and demonstrated success in other countries show that reducing sodium in the food supply is the single best community strategy to reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure.I am tom frieden, director of the centers for disease.
Control and prevention.Please join public officials, medical experts, and others dedicated to improving the health of people throughout the united states as we commit to cut the salt and save lives.Salt.The chemical name for it is sodium chloride.About 90 of the sodium we eat comes in the form of salt.The rest comes from food additives like msg and baking soda.Some occurs naturally in foods.So how much salt do we eat, and how much do our bodies really need how much is too much current dietary guidelines say americans age 2 and up should eat.
Less than 2300mg of sodium, or about 1 teaspoon of salt per day.However, about half the population should get even less than that.A diet even lower in sodium1500mg per day is recommended for persons 51 and older and those of any age who are african american, or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.Yet, the body's needs are far outpaced by a food supply that's full of salt.Studies show that adults eat an average of 3400mg of sodium every day.That's more than twice the recommended limit for most american adults.And far more.
Than the body needs.But the salt shaker is not the major problem.Nor is the pinch of salt tossed into the spaghetti sauce.The overwhelming majority of the salt we eat, about 34 of it, is already in foods we buy from grocery stores and restaurants.12 occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.And only 6 is added at the table, 5 during cooking.Sodium is being added to your product not because you like it, or want it, but because they think that it has some benefit.
Maybe in terms of incrementally changing taste, or maybe it actually adds water and weight, and therefore it costs more.The food industry uses salt to add or enhance flavor, to preserve foods for extended shelf life and for functional purposes.Such as helping meat to retain moisture, or bread to rise while baking.But it's not only present in salty foods like cured meats, chips, and pickles.It's also hidden in foods that may not even taste salty, like cereal and condiments.And it's these hidden sources that make reducing salt intake challenging.
For individuals, and for society.I know what i am supposed to do, and yet i also find it very difficult despite all the knowledge that i have to eat a diet that's within the recommended daily limit of salt.I go to the grocery store, i look at products, and i have very limited choices.Well, unfortunately among the general populations we deal with there are very few nowadays, if any, who are eating a low intake of processed foods.We got to start with that, and the food industry in every.
Part of the globe and to varying degrees in processing food, throws in salt.The breads, the rolls, the other baked goods, dry cereals.The problem becomes that many individuals would select a lower sodium product, but they don't have a choice out there.So what choices do we have and what can be done to expand the options and how do those choices effect the health of our families, our communities, and our entire country we have it from every source concurrently in regard to salt and blood pressure.The evidence is extensive, consistent, strong,.
And worthy of the designation, it's a causative effect.The modification of sodium intake for individuals who have excessive consumption is incredibly important, whether or not individuals are hypertensive, whether or not they're african american, whether or not they're middle aged or older adults.This is a public health problem and one that's important for all americans.High blood pressure is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke, which represent the 1st and 3rd most common causes of death in the united states.Once present, high blood pressure can become.
A life long problem, for individuals, and for society.Nearly 1 in 3 us adults has high blood pressure.Almost 15 of adults with high blood pressure are unaware that they have it.Less than half of adults with high blood pressure have it under control.The tremendous burden of high blood pressure, hardened arteries, heart attack, heart failure, and even blindness, is accompanied by an alarming economic toll.According to recent estimates, us costs for heart disease and stroke, to which high blood pressure is a major contributor, were an estimated $444 billion in 2010.
This includes spending on health care, lost productivity, death, and disability.Although the current statistics are sobering, they are not set in stone.And it's incumbent upon us not to settle for the status quo.We need to revitalize an aggressive strategy to address sodium and its role in high blood pressure.More than 50 studies from around the world have shown that as sodium intake rises, blood pressure rises as well.These investigations include epidemiological and al evidence of the link between salt and heart disease.The good news is that a wide body of published studies.
Also points to the opposite effect.That is, the benefit of lowering sodium intake and its positive impact on blood pressure and prevention of heart disease and stroke.For example, even people with blood pressure in the normal range benefit from reducing high salt intake, because your risk for heart disease and stroke increases as blood pressure increases, even if you don't have high blood pressure.Overall for most adults, reducing the amount of sodium in the diet to at, or below, currently recommended limits is projected to reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure by as much as a quarter,.
And in turn save tens of thousands of u.S.Lives annually.How can tens of thousands of lives be saved what are the choices that individuals and society can make as individuals, we can try to read labels.We can try to refrain from picking up the salt shaker.And we can try to order carefully at restaurants.But the barriers remain numerous.Lower sodium choices such as fresh fruits and vegetables aren't always accessible.Reading food labels can sometimes be confusing.And packaging claims such as low sodium, reduced sodium,.
Lightly salted, or no salt added are sometimes unclear.We have people who have hypertension who report to us that they are trying to put together a dietary pattern that meets the guideline, who fall way short, and you can see this here in the united states through data sources such as the intermap study.If you look in other research databases you'll see the story over and over and over again.I think it's incredibly important, given the health ramifications, that we take a public health approach to ensuring that everyone can meet their daily requirements.
It's avoidable, it's preventable, it's correctable and that's what the public health effort is all about.And the public health effort is underway.It's happening on local, national, and international levels.As we've seen, changing individual behavior is very hard, even among the most motivated.That's why improving the available choices remains part of the public health effort.Along with education.We've seen that it can be done.Lessons from other countries reinforce that goverment and industry can work together to make salt reduction a successful public health strategy.For example, since 2003 the united kingdom has encouraged.
Food manufacturers to voluntarily work towards lowering sodium content to targets within specific food categories.The effort was also supported by national advertising campaigns to raise public awareness.This combined public private effort led to a decline in sodium consumption by as much as 10.In addition to the uk, france, australia, portugal, finland, and canada have each undertaken various sodium reduction efforts.We can make similar gains here in the united states, and we already have a head start.Some manufacturers bury the level of sodium in their foods.
Based on the country in which it's produced, or where it will be sold.In fact, some identically named products have as little as half the sodium content, depending upon location.An initiative by the new york city department of health and mental hygiene to cut the salt is among the country's first and most visable efforts.In addition to working on public education and outreach with local restaurants, new york city has launched a coalition of health organizations and public agencies.So in new york city in 2008, we launched the national salt reduction initiative.
This initiative includes a partnership of over 40 cities, states, and public health organizations working with industry to set targets by food category.We've created over 60 processed food categories that we proposed and discussed targets for with industry, and we have an additional over 20 categories that we're working with restaurants to set and propose categories to propose targets for.Efforts are also underway in los angeles county and states such as new york, kansas, and california where health officials are developing salt reduction strategies for their areas and partnering nationwide.
And what happens when these salt reduction targets are met does better public health mean bland food one of the very important things that we've learned from discussions with industry very early on, was that products that have sodium reduced in isolation, can be difficult for consumers to accept.If you eat a food that is very high in sodium and suddenly you get served a lunch with very low in sodium you really notice the difference.So the approach that we are using is one that gradually reduces sodium in the huge amount of foods in our food supply gradually over time.
That way not one single product and not one single company stands out as an outlier as one that has too low salt or too high salt.If we reduce it over time we all become accustomed to it and we prefer those sorts of diets.So individuals will never lose their ability to choose how they put their meals together and how they enjoy foods, which we all know is an important part of our eating behaviors.So govermental efforts again to ensure that we have the opportunity to eat well, particularly.
Our subgroups that are struggling to be within the recommendations of less than 1500mg per day, is incredibly important.The pleasure of eating is a very important pleasure of civilized human beings.None of us who have any sense would think of interfering with that pleasure.That pleasure is fully enjoyable.You just reeducate your taste buds.We can reduce sodium intake, decrease blood pressure, and prevent heart attack and strokes.We'll continue to encourage people to make healthier food choices, but it also makes sense to change the foods by gradually reducing.
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