It's not just in the shaker
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|Fri, 04-23-2010 - 6:48am|
- Itâ€™s Not Just in the Shaker
If you want to do your heart a big favor, cut the salt. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that if every American had about a half-teaspoon less daily, it could reduce the annual number of new cases of coronary heart disease by 60,000; stroke by 32,000 and heart attacks by 54,000. A pinch less salt could also add up to some big healthcare savings: up to $24 billion. (Most of us actually consume more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 mg., or about a teaspoon). But it's not as easy as skipping the salt shaker--about 75 percent of the sodium we consume comes from processed foods, say researchers. A new Institute of Medicine report recommends the government set new standards for acceptable levels, and the FDA said it does plan to work with manufacturers to cut salt in food products over the next decade. What to do in the meantime? â€œGenerally, the farther away you get from boxed or other prepared foods, the less salt you will consume, and the healthier you will be,â€ says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Here are some common culprits to avoid.
â€”by Joan Raymond