A ‘Salty’ Showdown (Preserve & Protect)

A ‘salty’ showdown is cooking in New York as the city’s Board of Health just voted to require chain restaurants to post warning labels on menu items that have a high sodium content. The measure is believed to be the first of its kind in the US.

A salt shaker, encased in a black triangle, will have to be listed next to menu items that exceed the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium…..about a teaspoon. According to US News and World Report:

The average American consumes about 3,400 mg of salt each day, most of it from processed and restaurant food, studies show. Overconsumption of sodium raises the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Consumers may not realize how much sodium is in, say, a Panera Bread Smokehouse Turkey Panini (2,590 mg), TGI Friday’s sesame jack chicken strips (2,700 mg), a regular-size Applebee’s Grilled Shrimp ‘n Spinach Salad (2,990 mg) or a Subway footlong spicy Italian sub (2,980 mg). Even items that might not seem super-salty can be: A Red Robin monster-size salted caramel milkshake has 3,400 mg of sodium.” (more in this ‘worst salt offenders’ video from CNBC)

Health experts are applauding the rule, but salt producers and many restaurant owners call it a misguided step toward an onslaught of confusing warnings. From an article in USA Today:

“This really represents, to me, the next step in allowing usable information for our community to make better health decisions,” said board member Dr. Deepthiman K. Gowda. “My hope is that this impacts not only consumer practices but also impacts the practices of our restaurants.”

“This is another example of the government creating policy based on outdated, incorrect sodium guidelines,” Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute, a trade association for salt producers, said in a statement Wednesday.”

Share your thoughts on whether you think this will encourage healthier eating habits or is more sizzle than substance. After all….eating well is a key component in our vision to one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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