More groups agree Americans must cut down on salt

Life has gotten pretty salty in recent decades. And no, that doesn’t just describe the number of R-rated movies, raunchy music lyrics and wild Hollywood celebrities.

The average American consumes 3,353 milligrams daily of sodium, or more than twice what the Institute of Medicine says is an adequate intake for healthy people to eat daily, and 1,000 milligrams more than the recommended daily upper limit for sodium.

Salt — also known as sodium chloride — is key for regulating fluids in the body. But too much is unhealthy and can cause high blood pressure, a condition that already afflicts about 65 million Americans. An additional 45 million are poised to develop high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. This common condition hikes the odds of having a stroke, heart disease or kidney problems.

There’s so much concern about the high sodium intake of Americans that two groups who usually don’t agree met recently to tackle the problem. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, an industry group, co-sponsored a conference to encourage food companies, restaurants, health professionals and government agencies to help Americans stay below the limit per day of 2,300 milligrams of sodium set by the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

“The interesting thing about the conference,” says center Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson, “is that it was co-sponsored. It indicates that the food industry realizes that high-sodium food is a real problem.”

The Food and Drug Administration is putting salt on its agenda, too. Later this month, the agency plans to have a public hearing to consider how to revise regulations of salt in food and to establish food-labeling requirements for salt and sodium.

Lest you think that the salt shaker is the sole culprit, think again: Seasoning by home cooks or shaken at the dinner table accounts for just about 10 percent of total sodium intake, according to the Institute of Medicine. About 75 percent of the sodium consumed in the United States is found in processed foods sold at groceries and restaurants.

“Reducing the amount of salt in processed foods and restaurant foods is perhaps the single most important thing we could do to reduce blood pressure and the incidence of heart attacks and strokes in this country and around the world,” Jacobson says. “It’s something that the food industry and government regulators are taking increasingly seriously.”

Some food companies have already cut sodium. Others seek ways to decrease it. Frozen peas, canned beans and soup as well as milk are among the foods that have less sodium. In 1963, one-half cup of peas contained nearly 500 milligrams of sodium. Today, a half-cup of frozen peas has 95 milligrams, an 81 percent decrease.

Canned soups also can be packed with sodium, but they, too, contain smaller amounts than years ago. In 1963, a cup of chicken noodle soup packed 1,000 milligrams of sodium. Now, it has about 650 milligrams, a 35 percent drop.

Yet despite these efforts, “it’s still tough to hit that 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day,” says Edward Roccella, who recently retired as coordinator of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Remember that 2,300 milligrams represent the upper limit. The adequate intake for those age 9 to 50 is just 1,500 milligrams daily. For those 51 to 70, it’s 1,300 milligrams and for those 70 and older, just 1,200 milligrams — or less than the estimated 1,700 milligrams found in a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich on whole wheat with mustard.

The good news: While Americans are used to eating a high-sodium diet, it takes only a few weeks to adjust to a lower-sodium regimen.

Do that by reading product labels whenever possible. Jacobson notes a wide variation among brands. So two tablespoons of T. Marzetti Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing contains 290 milligrams of sodium while two tablespoons of Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese salad dressing has just 160.

Also, figure that reduced-fat products often have more sodium to help add flavor. An ounce of pretzels has nearly 400 milligrams of sodium, while one ounce of potato chips contains 150 milligrams.

When possible, cook from scratch to help control sodium in your food. Look for herbs and flavorings — such as lemon, curry or other seasonings — to boost taste without adding sodium.

Finally, check out the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, popularly known as DASH, an eating plan developed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that is proved to help lower high blood pressure as much as some medications. Find more about DASH online at

Join Sally Squires online from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays at, where you also can subscribe to the free Lean Plate Club weekly e-mail newsletter.

Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like