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Gingersnap
04-26-2010, 02:31 PM
UC Davis researcher challenges salt-is-bad dogma
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Buzz up!By Sam McManis
smcmanis@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Apr. 25, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 17I

For decades, salt indulgers have been peppered with studies showing that the popular condiment contributes to high blood pressure and a concomitant increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Now it appears that the government is poised to put limits on sodium levels found in packaged and restaurant foods. Last week, a report by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, called on the Food and Drug Administration to regulate high levels of sodium in foods.

The FDA responded by calling for gradual and voluntary cutbacks by the food industry and warned that it may make stricter mandates to cap maximum sodium levels in food sold to consumers. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, representing the packaged food industry, acknowledged the study's findings and says it will cooperate with federal policies.

"Everyone's in agreement that something needs to be done," FDA spokeswoman Meghan Scott said in a statement.

Well, not everyone.

UC Davis nutrition professor Judith Stern and three colleagues last November published a study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that questions that "scientific logic and feasibility" of limiting sodium consumption.

Stern, along with UC Davis adjunct professor David McCarron, reviewed data from a range of worldwide studies and examined neuroscience research and found that a body naturally regulates salt intake "within a narrowly defined physiological range."

According to the Institute of Medicine report, Americans daily consume 3,400 milligrams of sodium 1,200 milligrams more than the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommend.

The Harvard School of Public Health has reported that about 90,000 deaths a year could be averted if Americans abided by the current 2,300 milligrams per day guidelines.

Stern, however, said the call for salt mandates is premature and should require further research before policy is enacted.

"If a 'normal' range of sodium intake exists that is consistent with the optimal function of established peripheral and central nervous system mechanisms, that fact should be the sole basis of national nutrition guidelines for dietary sodium intake," Stern's study said. "To attempt to use public policy to abrogate human physiology would be futile and possibly harmful to human health."

Stern defends her strong words. In responding to the Institute of Medicine Report, she said, "the evidence is out there" to refute belief that reductions in salt intake reduces health risk.

"For instance," Stern said, "Dr. Michael Alderman found that in only five of 11 studies did salt (reduction) improve heart attack (incidence)."

Alderman, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, studied 2,000 men with high blood pressure and found an "unexpectedly high" incidence of heart attacks in those who were put on salt-restricted diets.

Well,....duh.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/04/25/2699298/uc-davis-researcher-challenges.html#ixzz0mETAUNEi

noonwitch
04-26-2010, 03:04 PM
If the food product has extra sodium added before packaging, it's probably bad for you. If you put a lot of salt on the food you make yourself, it's probably not harmful.


I truly think that half the problem with salt and fat in food is that people are eating too much pre-prepared food. Odds are that the manufacturer adds a lot more salt than you would put on your food if you made it yourself from scratch. Plus, the manufacturer probably uses a more chemicalized form of sodium, not the kind that we put in our salt shakers.

NJCardFan
04-26-2010, 03:12 PM
If the food product has extra sodium added before packaging, it's probably bad for you. If you put a lot of salt on the food you make yourself, it's probably not harmful.


I truly think that half the problem with salt and fat in food is that people are eating too much pre-prepared food. Odds are that the manufacturer adds a lot more salt than you would put on your food if you made it yourself from scratch. Plus, the manufacturer probably uses a more chemicalized form of sodium, not the kind that we put in our salt shakers.

This is why I buy low sodium products. You can always add salt but you can't take it out.

Gingersnap
04-26-2010, 03:28 PM
If the food product has extra sodium added before packaging, it's probably bad for you. If you put a lot of salt on the food you make yourself, it's probably not harmful.

I truly think that half the problem with salt and fat in food is that people are eating too much pre-prepared food. Odds are that the manufacturer adds a lot more salt than you would put on your food if you made it yourself from scratch. Plus, the manufacturer probably uses a more chemicalized form of sodium, not the kind that we put in our salt shakers.

They do add more salt to act as a preservative and also as a flavor enhancer. I don't know that the salt manufacturers add is any more "bad" for you than the soy and other fillers though.

Sodium is an element. The only thing food processors do to it is to change the texture slightly or add iodine or anti-caking agents. It's no more "chemicalized" than......well, actually I don't even know what that means. :p

But it's certainly not some stealth killer food.