Sunday, April 25, 2010
USANA Health Sciences: Let's Not Oversimplify the 'Too Much Sodium' Issue
Note: The following is a guest blog from Dr. John Cuomo, USANA's Executive Director of Research and Development.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released their comments on sodium in foods this week. Their conclusion: sodium levels in foods are “too high to be safe.” Further, they are advising the FDA to establish mandatory national standards for sodium in foods.
While I agree in principle with the report that we are consuming too much sodium, I don’t believe that the solution to the problem is to require food manufactures to reduce the amount of sodium in foods. I question if there is a direct relationship between sodium and health consequences or if sodium is just a good indicator of the total amount of “junk food” or highly processed nutrient poor foods in the diet.
The real conclusion should be to cut out the foods that deliver these high amounts of sodium. Unhealthy processed, highly refined, canned/boxed foods and fast foods are likely the real issue. We need to make a real effort to eat more unprocessed food, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry and fish, and fewer refined and processed foods.
Just like the low-fat craze that failed to produce slimmer, healthier people, low-sodium junk foods will likely be no healthier than the high sodium junk foods they replace. Let’s not oversimplify the issue. Yes, we are getting too much sodium in our diet. And yes, this is bad. But consuming low-sodium potato chips, crackers, cookies, fast foods or canned soups won’t improve our health. That will only occur when we change our lifestyle and start eating real, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods.
Reposted from USANA Health Sciences: Let's Not Oversimplify the 'Too Much Sodium' Issue