US Med Voice

US Med


Vol. 3, No. 6 | June 2011




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Eat Less Salt
Recent Dietary Guidelines Slash Salt Intake Advice


US MED Gives Back

The most recent federal dietary guidelines for Americans call for salt consumption to be reduced from 2,300 to 1,500 milligrams (mg). The lower figure was already recommended for 70 percent of American adults, including those with hypertension, all African Americans and everyone over age 40. The prestigious Institute of Medicine wants a crackdown on added salt in foods, arguing that past public education campaigns have failed.


The institute considered the results in the Interstroke study, which compared data on 6,000 people from 22 countries, half of whom had suffered a stroke and half had not. The study discovered that high blood pressure (hypertension) was the strongest predictor of stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 77 percent of dietary sodium comes from processed foods and restaurant items. Also:


*Grain mixtures, 530 mg/day: from pizza, burritos, tacos, egg rolls, packaged pasta dishes and frozen dinners.


*Ham, sausages, bacon, lunch meat, 423 mg/day: all have high salt content.


*Breads, 354 mg/day: two slices can contain 300 mg. of sodium.


*Meat, poultry and fish, 286 mg/day: all from salt shakers.


* Cake, cookies and crackers (229 mg/day): two Oreo cookies contain 160 mg of sodium.



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