Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dashing Salt From our Diets

A recent report from the Institute of Medicine urges the government to reduce the amount of sodium that manufacturers and restaurants are allowed to add to food and beverages.

The report highlights what has long been recognized as a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. Reducing the amount of sodium in our diets will save thousands of lives from heart attacks and strokes, not to mention the billions of dollars in health care costs.

AHA President Clyde Yancy was quoted in a recent USA Today article about this report, saying that “sodium contributes to most people’s high blood pressure, and for some it may be the primary driver.” He also noted that we’ve ignored advice on sodium in the past because Americans are “driven by convenience, and sodium makes a fast-food lifestyle very easy. To change, we would need to live and eat differently.”

The report has already sparked some action, with 16 companies and restaurants in the New York area have pledged to cut the amount of salt in bacon, flavored rice, and other products. This is a great start, but more will need to be done to address the silent killer that high sodium diets have become.

What are you doing to reduce sodium in your diet?

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