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  • Yes tricky question! I think that consumers need to be much better at knowing what they are buying. It’s easy to blame the food manufacturers but really no one NEEDS to buy those products.

  • I do think salt should be regulated, though being a runner with low blood pressure I actually need to take in an obscene amount of sodium. It’s just how my body works. But I’d rather get that from sea salt than packaged products

    1. Evan, I just realized I forgot to ask you about the gluten-free thing you wrote in a comment two posts ago. What sort of symptoms do you see that made you realize it doesn’t work for you? Does it affect your running? I’d like to know what to look for.

  • Thanks for giving me insight on how sodium can be so easy to overconsume.
    As for whether there should be a legal limit, I’d also be concerned about the government overstepping. People can figure things out for themselves.
    But again, until this article, I had no idea how risky my diet was in terms of sodium intake. I thought that I didn’t have to worry about it.
    Now, would you object to FDA-required nutrition labels that warned you specifically if the percentage of your daily level of sodium was relatively high? I think I’d appreciate something for sodium along the idea of regulation in terms of indicating food as low-fat, less fat, reduced fat, etc. but for sodium intake.
    .-= GBGames´s last blog ..Encourage Creativity: Addicube =-.

    1. I would be happier with labels than straight-up regulation. There are guidelines already in place for sodium labels: low sodium is 140mg or less, reduced sodium is 25% less sodium than original product, and light in sodium is 50% less than usual.
      I think it would be better if they all went by a certain mg standard instead of compared to the original product, and all packaged products above 20% DV were labeled as such.
      I meant to bring up potassium in my post; I saw on the FDA website (http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm181577.htm) that getting 4700 mg/day recommended amount of potassium helps to blunt the effects of sodium on blood pressure.
      Besides bananas, which contain about 1/10th of the daily recommended potatassium, there are also dried apricots, avocados, almonds, lentils, beans, squash, and spinach for a potassium punch.
      Thanks for the comment!

  • HOLY COW!!! That’s alot of sodium. Taco Bell is surprising, Panera too!
    I mostly eat at home and have controlled sodium and never eat junk food (not even frozen vegan meals!) but still, I’m sure even without the cheese and meat subbed with beans the Crunchwrap supreme isn’t a good choice.

    1. Diana, I used to love Taco Bell (that’s not a typo, I really did). And every once in a while I get the hankering for it still. Do you know if their tortillas are made with lard?

      1. The taco bell website http://www.tacobell.com/foodfacts says that none of their products contain lard, and also that the enzymes used in the cheese, tortillas, and flatbread are not from an animal source. However, the sour cream contains animal-based gelatin.

  • I hope the gov’t doesn’t regulate sodium… I have super low blood pressure like the above cemmentor and was told by my doctor to eat tons of sea salt as well! I would be amused by gov’t mandated jazzercise classes though. Might add a little pizzazz to my work day…
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..No more training plan! =-.

  • I’m totally diggin the new header! (perhaps its the new shade of green I’m partial to..) 🙂 are the shirts going to reflect the new header?? (sorry if you already said that – it’s been a long week over here!) 😉

    1. Alli, I think it got finished just in time to make it onto the new shirts! They’re going to look (and feel) great.

  • My blood pressure is relatively low (I’m not sure what “very low” means according to those of you whose doctors have given the OK on salt) and I’ve never been told to eat more salt or anything of that matter. I do drink an awful lot of water and hardly eat anything processed; sometimes I fear I might not be getting enough sodium or flushing too much out. Anyone know how to tell?
    And I think that the food industry should make an attempt to slowly decrease the amount of sodium so that it doesn’t interfere with the taste consumers are looking for while at the same time finding the optimum balance between taste and health so that both parties can be in agreement.
    .-= Daniel´s last blog ..A Change of Pace =-.

  • i can’t believe a salad “Baja Fresh Tostada Salad” has so much sodium, that’s just insane.. i’m not sure about regulation, but i’m all for labels and for restaurants listing the calories on menus..

  • Love the new design!
    Thanks for the heads up on some of these items. I just had a half a Panera Mediterranean sandwich this week.
    .-= Nicki´s last blog ..Anticipation =-.

  • Matt, great post. I just linked to it and reposted a portion. Hope you don’t mind.
    I spent two months researching the sodium content of all entrees at the 25 highest volume restaurant chains (results on my blog) and found that more than 3/4 of ALL entrees have more than one-third of your daily recommended sodium intake. In fact, half of all entrees contain more than 50% of DV. I come down on the side of regulation at some level, because sodium is contributing to the health care cost crisis that is crippling our economy. I get the “personal responsibility argument”, but there just aren’t even options to go low sodium at this point. If I’m determined to eat out low sodium, I’m looking at a smoothie or maybe fish at Red Lobster, and there’s not much more out there, currently. So whether it’s government or consumers, somebody is going to have to pressure restaurants to provide those truly healthy choices.

    1. Alan, thanks for linking and posting a bit on your site. Definitely not a problem!
      I should redirect the credit to my sister, Christine, who writes all the Friday posts on No Meat Athlete. She usually posts recipes for healthy desserts, but she’s also interested in nutrition and especially the legal issues surrounding it.
      Good for you spending 2 months researching something for a blog. If everyone did research like that (or even a few days’ worth), blogs wouldn’t have the bad name they’ve acquired!

  • That’s very true. What I’ve noticed is that even though people may be aware of the high sodium content in foods, they don’t necessarily know WHY it’s bad for them (in exaggeration). I’m not sure regulations should be the first step as much as raise awareness on the potential health dangers of a high-sodium diet. Great site!

  • Salt really is everywhere! You don’t even realize it because you think you may be eating healthy, but it contains so much salt. I actually enjoy less salt, and am so glad the FDA is regulating that now. This was a great post!

  • Hi, I’m new here! 🙂
    Salt is a consideration in my household because my husband has high blood pressure. I think it’s important even if you don’t have HBP…especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Why see the added water retention on the scale, you know?
    There are low salt versions of a lot of things, such as canned beans (Goya makes a premium version of some of their beans with less than 150 mg per serving), and broths.

  • I keep trying to find out if Smoked Paprika has sodium and how much? I get answer surrounding that question but not an answer about Smoked Paprika. I never salt my foods but am sure I take in too much sodium anyway.
    My bp was 225/ 120 and after being so proud of no meds at 61 years old I now have to take bp medicine. I recently started using a lot of smoked paprika and wondered if this is the reason for the spike in BP. now my bp is 80/51 Thank You. Liz. Bp machine might have been inaccurate

  • I am on a low salt diet, so I am aware of sodium content in processed foods. So for all out there who need more sodium add it to your food. I and many others can not eat things we liked because of the high sodium content. I m not a fast food eater and cook for myself. There are plenty of wonderful herbs and spices out there to season your food.

  • I track my food so I can see where the sodium is coming from. I’ve noticed that bread products introduce a huge amount even for me, and I usually don’t eat wheat or any kind of bread (gf or otherwise) at every meal or every day. I wonder if some people see less bloating when they cut out wheat because a major source of sodium is also eliminated.
    Plain fruit and veg have very little sodium, if they are filling up on that instead. Unsalted nuts and seeds and beans likewise. Cheese is salty, so eliminating dairy would also reduce salt considerably.

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