More Health and Nutrition Bites

Mushrooms vs. Meat 09/20/17
Good news for GERD sufferers 09/14/17
Reseal the bag 09/06/17
Low-carb beats low-cal (except when it isn't) 08/30/17
The power of movie tie-ins 08/23/17
Diet sodas may still increase your risk of diabetes 08/16/17
Fight hunger - with chewing gum 08/09/17
Should you eat more frequently? Probably not 07/26/17
Drink coffee, live longer 07/19/17
Which fats are linked with diabetes risk? 07/12/17
Low fat diets may actually be bad for you 07/05/17
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Health & Nutrition Bites

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Sodium Research Roundup

2007: Even More Reason to Hold the Salt
When scientific studies are reported on in the media they can appear far more conclusive than they really are. For example, many clinical studies in humans have shown a link between high sodium (salt) intake and high blood pressure. Based on that evidence, the American Heart Association has recommended a maximum daily intake of less than 2300 milligrams of sodium.

2010: Quantifying the Effects of Less Salt
I have said in the past that the typical American eats over 6000 milligrams (or 6 GRAMS) of sodium per day. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine (2010;362:590-9) means I'm going to have to update that figure: the latest estimates, for 2005-2006, estimate that every adult male in the United States eats an average of 10.4 grams of salt per day.

2011: You CAN get used to less salt!
Not long ago a reader wrote to me and asked what reducing our salt intake was going to prevent. He seemed to think that the need to reduce our sodium intake had not been adequately established and that the issue was not salt itself but rather what the salt was put on (or in).

2012: Sodium and Stroke
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that Americans limit their sodium intake to less than 2400 milligrams per day. The American Heart Association, however, recommends a limit of 1500 milligrams per day. We know that high levels of sodium in the diet are linked to high blood pressure and thus to the risk of stroke, but until recently many studies have not tried to link sodium and stroke more directly.

2012: Sodium and Your Heart
One of the earliest signs of impending heart disease is a decline in the ability of very small coronary arteries to relax (or not). The measurement of this ability to relax is known as Coronary Flow Reserve (CFR), and a low measurement is considered a poor score.

2012: A Novel Salt Substitute: Smell
Researchers with Unilever, one of the world's largest food companies, have been looking at different ways they might reduce the sodium content in foods without compromising flavor. The flavor effects of reducing sodium in a food, they noted, isn't limited to reducing the food's perceived saltiness: it also affects other components of flavor as well as reducing the food's overall flavor intensity.

2012: Blood Pressure, Salt, and Potassium
We know that diets low in sodium (salt) help to lower blood pressure. What you may not know is that diets that are high in potassium, such as vegetarian diets and those high in fruits in vegetables, can also help reduce blood pressure.

2012: Potassium-Enriched Salt Reduces Risk of Death
You might think that it's normal for people's blood pressure to increase as they age. Unfortunately, that's only true in cultures where the usual diet is high in salt - cultures with a usual diet that's low in sodium don't see this happen. As I mentioned last week, taking potassium can help reduce one's blood pressure when doing so won't raise your potassium intake to dangerous levels.