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New York Wants to Cut Back on Salt Too

You gotta love New York. It's really looking out for its New Yorkers with bans on smoking, bans on trans fat, posting calorie counts on menus, and now, NY is tackling salt. Most of the salt Americans consume comes from the processed foods we eat — not from the extra salt we sprinkle on. So New York officials are meeting with food makers to discuss ways they can cut back on the sodium they use in prepared and processed foods such as soups, pasta sauce, salad dressing, and bread.

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Unlike sugar, there's no substitute for salt, and many foods such as cream soups just won't taste the same without it. For that reason, the food industry is hoping the request to reduce salt in foods will be voluntary, not mandatory. New York's salt initiative has a goal of cutting salt content in foods by 20 percent within five years, which is modeled after a plan carried out in Britain. The belief is that if salt content is reduced gradually over time, our taste buds will get used to the flavor of less salty foods.

The daily recommended intake for salt is 2,300 mg, and a high salt diet can raise blood pressure, which raises a person's risk for heart disease. Critics say that not everyone is sensitive to a high salt diet, so they don't agree with this government intervention. What's your opinion? Do you think New York should demand that the food industry reduces its salt content in foods or should it be up to New Yorkers to make healthy choices for themselves?


Join The Conversation
VeeKeeTee VeeKeeTee 8 years
i actually do find a lot of the dishes too salty for me. so not opposed to it
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i think that it's a smart thing to try to be mindful for people who don't really pay attention to things like this. i'm one of the lucky ones for right now that could use MORE sodium in their diet. i have very low blood pressure and i'm always told to have more salt. living in NYC though, it'll be interesting to see how over the years things change.
michlny michlny 8 years
The thing is people aren't taking care of themselves and obesity is an epidemic. It is draining our healthcare and siphoning money away from other resources. If people don't choose to eat healthy then I applaud NYC for taking steps to take care of its people.
FitZucchero FitZucchero 8 years
I agree with Sandy on this. Especially in regards to processed and prepared foods, I don't think many people really understand just how much sodium goes into these. In an ideal world, people would take responsibility for what they eat and how much of it. Obviously, this ideal world would also not be facing an obesity epidemic. Call it mommying, call it overitrusive, but I think it's a step in the right direction to making it a little harder for companies to make it too easy for people to eat crap.
imLissy imLissy 8 years
I think NY should focus its resources on more important things than playing mommy
sandy82 sandy82 8 years
I'm a NY-er and I'm for this. Seriously a "healthy" meal can have a total day's worth of sodium. I'd just like to see reasonable sodium levels in meals.
brookrene brookrene 8 years
Yeah, I agree with the other commentors. While I think posting calorie counts and banning smoking in certain areas is okay, this is going way too far. Thank goodness I don't live there!
BeamerCG BeamerCG 8 years
It's not the state's place to determine what I eat. NY is over stepping its bounds. Next we'll hear of trans fat food and salty soup smuggling rings. I thought this was the land of the free. Now pass me something made by Little Debbie, so I can eat it protest!
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
"Do you think New York should demand that the food industry reduces its salt content in foods or should it be up to New Yorkers to make healthy choices for themselves?" For themselves! This is scary.
emileigh emileigh 8 years
True, you DO need sodium, but you only need 240mg a day for your body to function properly. Most foods have more than that in a single serving. Plus, 20% over 5 years? I don't know that it should be mandatory, but otherwise it doesn't sound like that big of a deal.
gothamgal gothamgal 8 years
Seriously, this is going too far. What's next? Monitoring water intake?
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
totally agree Spectra. post warnings, or salt content in foods, like NYC is now doing with calorie content in fast food. I think that would allow people to be grown ups and make informed decisions about their own health. there is only so much you can regulate.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
This is going way too far. Salt is actually necessary for our bodies to function properly and NOT everyone has a bad reaction to salt. I'm very athletic and I eat a lot of salt in my diet to replenish my electrolytes. It doesn't give me high blood pressure, but I know it can if you're sensitive to it. I think maybe lower sodium options should be encouraged, but to make it mandatory would SUCK. I guess as long as they provide a salt shaker on the table, us salt-fiends will be happy, LOL.
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