Too much or too little of salt can kill us

Two different viewpoints have surfaced with regard to salt consumption in the United States. At one place, the US public health officials have declared that by bringing a decline in salt intake will help hundreds of thousands of lives.

It has also mentioned that 90% of Americans consume a lot of salt. On the other hand, epidemiologists have something different to unveil. After tracking the connection between salt and deaths from different reasons, the epidemiologists have unveiled that heavy salt eaters do die sooner. But they did not find any evidence that there is danger to Americans considering their average intake of salt.

Experts said that there is a way to solve the situation, consume salt within a safe range. Indeed step has been taken into that direction with the US Food and Drug Administration coming up with new guidelines. The new guidelines are aimed to reduce sodium in packaged foods and restaurant meals.

The new recommendation as per the FDA is 2,300 milligrams per day. But the American Heart Association has suggested even a lower limit, 1,500 milligrams. As per the Institute of Medicine, 2,300 milligrams a day consumption is apt.

It has been said so as 1,500 milligrams is the minimum amount of sodium one would consume while eating food that would sufficient for him for survival. Salt is not a dietary evil. It has such an important role to play that it makes sense to have it in appropriate amount.

But it is gets tricky to decide how much needs to be consumed. Majority have been supporting 2,300 limit. Experts have mentioned that FDA’s guidelines will not cause any harm to consumers. Also, they would encourage the food industry to cut down on salt.

According to a story published on the topic by NY Times News, “The average American adult, who consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day — more than 1,000 milligrams more than the recommended daily allowance of 2,300 milligrams — may not know that more than 70 percent of the sodium consumed in this country is already in food before it reaches the table. Too much sodium, a main component of table salt, can raise blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.”

With sodium in all kinds of packaged foods, the federal government has proposed the first set of guidelines for the food industry to reduce it. The rules are voluntary but health advocates say they are important because they set a national benchmark for sodium intake for the first time.

“What it is, in effect, is a zero-tolerance policy. That’s because 1,500 milligrams is the minimum amount of sodium it’s possible to consume while eating enough food to sustain yourself. That is, if you eat nothing with added salt, you’ll still get about 1,500 milligrams from the sodium that occurs naturally in edible plants and animals,” according to a recent Bloomberg News report.

Zero tolerance of salt comes from a counterproductive level of caution. It starts with a real scientific observation that eating a lot of salt raises blood pressure and poses a danger to people with hypertension. Then it takes a leap of logic by assuming that if less sodium is good for those folks, then the less the better for everyone.

A report published in Daily Signal News informed, “The FDA released voluntary sodium reduction goals seeking to lower individual sodium consumption to 2,300 mg per day. This would be achieved by “encouraging” manufacturers, restaurants, and food service operations to reduce sodium content in food. The FDA is not merely identifying a general goal for individual consumption. The agency is detailing sodium content levels for well over a hundred food categories, from feta cheese to salad dressing.”

The federal government has a long history of providing poor nutritional guidance. For example, there was the federal government’s 1992 food pyramid that encouraged carbohydrate consumption and didn’t distinguish between fats. Nutritional guidance is always changing, and often completely reversing course by going back to previous understandings of what was nutritious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *