The ongoing problem of salt is discussed in an excellent book, “Salt Wars, the Battle Over the Biggest Killer in the American Diet,” published last year. Advocacy Group
Without waiting for a regulatory hammer, Dr. Jacob Jacobson told me, “Some companies have made a real effort to reduce the amount of sodium in their products. There are many strategies that companies can use.”
In its canned tomato soup, for example, Campbell replaces a quarter of regular salt with potassium chloride, reducing sodium from 760 to 480 mg per cup, without adversely affecting consumer acceptance. Nabisco has cut my favorite snack cracker sodium from 370 to 180 milligrams an ounce, and General Mills has reduced sodium in whites, the cereal that my boys grew up in, from 370 to 185 milligrams ounces. For those who like crunchy chips, check out Cal & Spinach Tortilla Chips from CVS Store Brand Above, which contains just 75 milligrams of sodium ounces (about 11 chips).
Tips for reducing sodium
Companies have seen that gradually lowering the sodium content of their products and not creating any bigotry about it, as they do not claim “low sodium”, actually increases consumer acceptance. Most people do not notice change. But you may not have to wait for the companies to work. For example, you can reduce salt in many canned foods, such as beans, by washing them in a calendar. Or try adding salt to canned soup by filling a bowl or pot with fresh spinach and other quick-cooking or pre-cooked vegetables before adding the soup and heating it in the microwave or saucepan.
If you hope to improve your health by reducing sodium, one strategy is to avoid cold turkey. I and many others have found that using it slowly and using less is relatively easy to reduce your preference for high salt. As well as adjusting your taste buds, high-salt foods that you once enjoyed will probably be unpleasantly salty and consequently easier to prevent.
In cooking, instead of adding salt when making recipes, try salting the finished product, which will make your palate happy with enough less salt. Citrus juice, hot-pepper flakes, or other spicy foods can go a long way to reducing salt. You can also eat less bread; As a class, bread and other bakery products contribute more to the sodium intake of Americans than any other food item.
But an even bigger contribution probably comes from the food prepared in the restaurant, which Dr. Jacobson calls the salt-filled mining field. I noticed that the day after I ate at a restaurant, I weighed about two pounds more, because I didn’t eat two extra pounds of food, because the extra salt in what I ate kept so much water in my body.
Instead of government regulations to limit sodium, consumers may write to producers of commercial products of their choice and consider reducing their salt intake.