New Dietary Guidelines Drastically Cut Salt Intake
|Author: Kyanna Beard|
Date: Monday, January 31st, 2011
|Return to Archive|
For the first time, the U.S. government is advising that more than half of the American population needs to drastically cut their daily salt intake.
According to new dietary guidelines, those who are most at risk for high blood pressure; including those over the age of 51; African-Americans; those suffering from hypertension; diabetes or chronic kidney disease, which together make up half the U.S. population are being urged to consume only about a half a teaspoon of salt a day.
The Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments issue the guidelines every five years, and recommends that everyone else stick to the "teaspoon a day" guideline of 2,300 milligrams, which is about one-third less than the average person usually consumes.
The assault on salt is aimed strongly at the food industry, which is responsible for the majority of sodium most people consume. Most salt intake doesn't come from the shaker on the table; it's hidden in foods such as breads, chicken and pasta.
It has long been known that too much sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and other problems. But cutting the salt won't be easy.
The prestigious Institute of Medicine has said it could take years for consumers to get used to the taste of a lower-salt diet. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the government is trying to be realistic while targeting the highest-risk groups.
"I think it's important for us to do this in a way that doesn't create an immediate backlash," he said. "If we fail to get our arms around the obesity epidemic, especially in our children, we're going to see a significant increase in health care costs over time."
Several large food companies have already introduced initiatives to cut sodium and introduced low-sodium alternatives, but it's unclear if the industry will be able to cut enough to satisfy the new guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration has said it will pressure companies to take voluntary action before it moves to regulate salt intake.
"Even the most motivated consumer can make only a certain amount of progress before it's clear that we need extra support from the food industry," Koh said.
Consumers still have some control. To reduce the risk of disease from high sodium intake, the guidelines say people should:
-Read nutrition labels closely and buy items labeled low in sodium.
-Consume more fresh or home-prepared foods and fewer processed foods, so they know exactly what they are eating.
-Ask that salt not be added to foods at restaurants.
-Gradually reduce sodium intake over time to get used to the taste.
Other recommendations in the guidelines are similar to previous years - limit trans fats, reduce calorie intake from solid fats and added sugars, eat fewer refined grains and more whole grains, consume less than 300 mg per day of cholesterol. The guidelines also recommend eating less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats - full-fat cheese and fatty meats, for example.
The government promotes these guidelines to consumers by using a symbolic pyramid.
Introduced more than five years ago, it doesn't specify recommended amounts of foods but directs people to a USDA website that details the guidelines. That replaced an old pyramid that specified what to eat after surveys showed that few people followed it.
Vilsack said USDA may come out with a new icon, but that won't be for a few more months. For now, the government wants consumers to focus on the guidelines themselves.
He says the recommendations - coupled with efforts from industry and other government campaigns for healthy eating, such as first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative - should bring about some change in the country's diet.
"I don't think it necessarily has to take a generation or two to see some progress," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS July 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Online Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Training Resources & Event Planning Services
Mary Lloyd Moore, executive director of WKU’s Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex, has been appointed to the Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.
Joel Pett, publitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist will be speaking at the next Kentucky Live event on October 19.
Katherine Crider of Dawson Springs was crowned WKU’s 2017 Homecoming queen on Saturday (Oct. 14).
WKU recognized its top volunteers at the annual Summit Awards. Distinguished Service Medals to recognize the service of the University’s top volunteers were presented to Julie Harris Hinson, James G. Meyer and Linda S. Miller.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,