The American Diet Drowns in Salty Appetites and Cravings

Today’s WSJ writes The Salt Hiding In Your Diet, an excellent update on the outrageous amounts of salt in the American diet, most of it coming from processed foods.

Anne was shocked to read that two tablespoons of Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing, for example, have just 15 calories, but 480 mg of sodium. The regular Zesty Italian dressing has 60 calories and 310 mg of sodium. This prompted her to go to the refrigeration and get out her Maple Grove Farms of Vermont sugar free balsamic vinegar, which has 120 mg of salt in two tablespoons. So much for the Kraft argument that the salt is necessary to guarantee taste.

In fact, the Salt Institute, which represents the salt industry, opposes more restrictive guidelines on sodium in diets. It says larger studies are needed and that too little sodium can harm health says WSJ. “The recommendations made really hold a lot of risk for consumers,” said Morton Satin, vice president of science and research.

Anne has cut back on her salt consumption over the years. It’s true that going cold-turkey on no-salt is nearly impossible. And our bodies do need salt.

It’s much easier to control salt intake when one eats no processed or fast-food. This is our mantra although dining out is a constant pleasure.

Today, adults consume more than 3,400 mgs of sodium on average, not including salt they use in cooking or sprinkle on food from a shaker, more than twice the amount recommended for most people, according to a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Middle-aged men are eating on average about 54% more salt today than in the early 1970s; for women, consumption has jumped 67% in that time. via WSJ

A single slice of packaged bread can contain 150-200 mgs of salt, in a new dietary recommendation of 1500 mgs of total salt intake for people over 40.