While many people can’t stand the thought of eating french fries, eggs or popcorn without that extra sprinkle of salt, Crouse Hospital’s Maureen Fauler, MHA, RD, CDN, manager of Clinical Nutrition Services, says consumers need to be aware of the influence a high-sodium diet can have on their health. On average, the higher an individual’s sodium intake, the higher the individual’s blood pressure.
Maureen was a guest this morning in the "CNY Breakfast Club" segment of WSMTV’s “Today in Central New York" morning news program, which airs 5 to 7 a.m. weekdays. She will join the show every other Monday to share nutrition insights for better health.
Today Maureen addressed the latest guidelines released recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in regard to salt intake. The new guidelines suggest that Americans should reduce their daily sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg). Those ages 51 and older should further reduce intake to 1,500 mg, as should African Americans, and those who have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
Maureen says the key to reducing salt intake is to make wise food choices, as most of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed foods. Maureen offers the following tips for those hoping to decrease their salt intake:
> Read the nutrition label for information on the sodium content of foods and purchase foods that are low in sodium. Many people don’t realize how much sodium is in foods we eat everyday, such as bread, chicken, and pasta.
> Consume more fresh foods and fewer processed foods. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium.
> Eat more home-prepared foods, where you have control over sodium, and use little or no salt when cooking.
> When eating at restaurants, ask that salt not be added to your food or order lower sodium options, if available.
Additional Resources for Helping You to Cut Down on Salt
USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Crouse Hospital's Medical Nutrition Therapy
The DASH Diet
Crouse Hospital's Your Health: Food & Nutrition Guides
Mayo Clinic: How to Tame Your Salt Habit
Tune into WSTM TV3 on Monday, February 21 between 5 and 7 a.m. to catch Maureen’s next health segment on sugary drinks.