*This is just a short summary of an article originally posted on UPI. All the information, phrases, content and research posted here belongs to UPI and was written by Steven Reinberg. Click here for the original article.
An otherwise healthy diet isn't going to offset damage to your heart from too much salt, a new study suggests.
Our latest findings show that the adverse relation of salt intake to blood pressure is not counteracted or reduced by other nutrients consumed, including about 80 that we assessed," said researcher Queenie Chan.
High-salt diets lead to high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke, the researchers pointed out.
The association recommends adults consume no more than one teaspoon of salt -- about 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium -- a day in total. And most adults would do better with 1,500 mg daily, the group advises.
But one can of soup alone can have as much as 1,800 mg of sodium, experts have warned. Commercially made breads and rolls, cold cuts, cheese, and savory snacks like chips, crackers, and pretzels are other high-sodium foods.
This new study finds that salt's adverse effects on blood pressure cannot be blunted by augmenting the diet with fruits, vegetables and other nutrients, Chan said.
If a frozen pizza, chicken pot pie, or a ham and cheese sandwich contains 1,340 mg of salt, then that is the amount your body has to manage, whether you try to dilute it or not, Heller explained.
One solution to reducing salt intake, she said, is to read nutrition labels on foods and make more foods fresh at home.
"This can be done with a bit of forethought and planning and, ultimately, will help save money, too," Heller said.
To help lower high blood pressure, she recommends potassium-rich meal plans like the DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
Potassium works with sodium to help maintain the body's fluid and electrolyte balance, she said. This new study found that at lower levels of 24-hour sodium excretion, potassium intake mitigated the sodium-blood pressure relation, but not at higher levels.
"A diet high in salt indicates that the diet is high in ultra-processed foods like hot dogs, frozen pizza, fast and junk foods like chips, commercially baked products, such as breads and prepared foods, and low in potassium-rich vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains," Heller said.
For the study, Chan and colleagues looked at data on salt consumption and the consumption of 80 nutrients, including proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. All might affect blood pressure, the researchers said.
Also included in the review were data on urine levels of salt and potassium.
The study population was made up of more than 4,600 women and men aged 40 to 59 in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and China.
*This is just a short summary of an article originally posted on UPI. All the information, phrases, content and research posted here belongs to UPI and was written by Allen Cone. Click here for the original article.
"Like our efforts to reduce tobacco use, our work in nutrition can do much to reduce the burden of chronic disease and the early death we see as a result of avoidable illness," Gottlieb, who took over as FDA commissioner last May, told the attendees. "It can also help to break cycles of poor health, poor educational attainment, and complications from chronic disease that exacerbate burdens of illness and risk fracturing society along socioeconomic lines."
There remains no single more effective public health action related to nutrition than the reduction of sodium in the diet," Gottlieb said. "Excess sodium in the diet results in hypertension, which increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks."
He noted that reducing sodium intake by one-half teaspoon a day could prevent nearly 100,000 premature deaths a year, as well as 120,000 new cases of coronary heart disease, 66,000 strokes and 99,000 heart attacks.
The FDA, he said, has proposed short-term, voluntary targets for sodium reduction in foods of 3,000 milligrams per day from the current average intake of more than 3,400 milligrams. Gottlieb said the FDA would update its voluntary short-term sodium targets in 2019.
Americans' addiction to salt may be waning, according to a survey of more than 172,000 households found between 2000 and 2014. In that timespan, the salt content of packaged foods consumers purchased decreased 12 percent and the amount of salt in the packaged food and drinks people bought was reduced by nearly 400 mg a day -- dropping from more than 2,300 mg to less than 2,000 mg a day.
The FDA is also considering changing labeling so consumers know that they are consuming salt.
"We've been petitioned to allow the use of alternative names for 'potassium chloride' -- to make it clear that this product is a salt -- and we're actively considering this request," Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb said the concept may extend to other ingredients, such as using "vitamin B6" instead of "pyridoxine" and "vitamin B12" in place of "cyanocobalamin" so that people can "better understand what's in their food."
"Consumers want 'clean labels' that are readable and understandable," he said. "Manufacturers are taking this consumer preference seriously, and FDA has a role here as well. We're considering what changes could make ingredient information more consumer friendly."
The FDA also has decided to keep the Nutrition Facts update promoted by former first lady Michelle Obama after a compliance deadline was delayed 18 months. In January 2020, large food companies will start having to use the new labels that include the disclosure of added sugars and use a bigger font for caloric content.
The FDA also plans to streamline its process for reviewing qualified health claims from the industry to prioritize the ones that are based on the strongest science and could have great effect on public health.
"These claims can show that a food component may reduce the risk of a health-related condition, such as the relationship between folate and the reduction in risk of a child being born with certain birth defects," he said. "One example of how such claims can make a difference is manufacturers' ability to use a qualified health claim linking early peanut introduction in certain infants to a reduced risk of developing a peanut allergy."
"I'm committed to advancing our work in nutrition as one tool to help reduce health disparities, and improve the lives of all Americans, and to help every family live more free from the burden of preventable illness," Gottlieb said.
Nearly half the U.S. population has high blood pressure. Here’s what to do about it. (Repost from Miami Herald)
*This is just a short summary of an article originally posted on Miami Herald. All the information, phrases, content and research posted here belongs to Miami Herald and was written by Allison Horton. Click here for the original article.
Because of its lack of symptoms, high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is commonly known as the "silent killer". With the release of updated blood pressure guidelines by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, about 46% of the U.S. adult population are now considered to have high blood pressure.
Previously, blood pressure numbers of 140/90 indicate high blood pressure; these numbers are now lowered to 130/80.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and heart disease. According to the guidelines, for a person who reaches age 45 without having hypertension, the risk for developing hypertension within the next 40 years is 93 percent for African Americans, 92 percent for Hispanics, 86 percent for whites, and 84 percent for Asian Americans.
If you know that you have high blood pressure, here's what to do:
"Changing one’s diet and exercise is often the first step in treating patients with hypertension", said Dr. Gervasio Lamas, chief of cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. In South Florida, Latin food is often high in salt and calories. Two of the highest obese populations are Hispanics and African Americans because of diet, portion size and genetics.
Studies show that following the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which encourages a low-salt, high-potassium diet with fruits and vegetables along with an active lifestyle, can help to control elevated blood pressure. This can be supplemented by exercising at least 30 minutes daily, three-to-fives times weekly, said Dr. Ian Del Conde, cardiologist and head of vascular medicine at the Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute at Baptist Health South Florida.
Reducing alcohol consumption also plays a role. Alcohol intake affects blood pressure, said Dr. Carl Orringer, cardiologist at the University of Miami Hospital and associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Men should limit alcoholic drinks to two a day, women once a day.
If lifestyle modifications don’t work or the patient’s risk is high, then the patient should be treated with medication. Hypertensive patients with a high risk are advised on lifestyle modification but are started on medication to reduce chances of complications, Orringer said. Patients who are diabetic, smoke or have high cholesterol are more prone to be treated with medication.
Patients can be proactive and check their blood pressure as well. To have a proper blood pressure measurement, the patient needs to rest for at least five minutes prior. Also, have the appropriate size blood pressure cuff for their body type. If a patient has a heavy arm and a small cuff is used, that can result in an inaccurate reading. Avoid drinking coffee or alcohol 30 minutes before measuring blood pressure.
With that being said, people should not neglect having their blood pressure checked by their doctor. “Keep a log with the date and time of blood pressure reading,” Del Conde said. “Patients will then have a very good feel for their blood pressure and be able to tell doctors their blood pressure history.”
*This is just a short summary of an article originally posted on Quartz. All the information, phrases, content and research posted here belongs to Quartz Media LLC and was written by Nadine Rubin Nathan. Click here for the original article.
In more recent years, parents are becoming increasingly aware of the consequences of a high fat and high sugar diet and are making more effort to reduce their children's consumption of sugar and fat. However, in an attempt to stop giving them sugary cakes, ice cream and cookies, we tend to pass them the savoury snacks instead- a switch that can similarly damage children's health.
Salt is a topic that is not as often brought up among children and teens, yet it can pose health problems in the long term that are as serious as eating a high sugar and fat diet. Salt, much like sugar, is hiding in the everyday "healthy" foods we offer our children.
Few of us realize that other commonly thought of as nutritious foods such as breads, breakfast cereals, pre-prepared vegetable soups, pasta sauces, and canned foods like beans, chickpeas, or tuna are culprits too. Even cheese can contain a whopping amount of sodium. “Don’t be fooled—one cheese sandwich can contain 1,000mg of sodium or more. That’s already the entire daily allowance for a three-year-old in a single sandwich. Add a slice of ham to that sandwich and you’re way over the limit,” Sydney-based pediatric nutritionist Mandy Sacher says.
According to the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), an estimated 3.5% of all children and teens in the United States have high blood pressure, however, the condition often goes undetected and untreated.
For ages one to three, the recommended amount of sodium is just 1,000-1,500 mg per day; ages four to eight, no more than 1,900 mg sodium per day, and even at ages nine to thirteen, the recommendation is slightly less than one teaspoon of salt—2,200mg sodium per day. (According to the World Health Organization, no one should eat more than one teaspoon of salt per day).
Tips for reducing sodium intake: