Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Packaged Foods Exceed Salt Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control is warning Americans about the excessive salt content of packaged and processed foods. There are guidelines that tell manufactures the amount of salt that they are allowed to put in packaged and processed foods, but nearly 80 percent of these types of products have more than the allowed amount.

packaged deli meatsThe CDC just released the report which claims that packaged and processed foods are ignoring the federal guidelines set for salt content, which poses a danger to people who eat those products regularly. The high concentrations of salt should be labeled on the packaging if nothing else, although often times the real amounts of salt are hidden from the consumer. Salt is one of the biggest causes of high blood pressure, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

The CDC happened to stumble across this startling news when trying to figure out whether or not location had any impact on high blood pressure. As part of that research study, the CDC also was trying to figure out if the salt content of foods varied depending on location of where the product was manufactured. While the CDC did not come up with any links as far as if location impacted the salt content in foods or if the diagnosis of blood pressured varied by location, it did find that across all locations salt contents were exceeding the federal guidelines.

When the CDC looked at which products had the worst salt content, packaged and processed foods such as meat and pasta contained the highest levels. Most of the packaged and processed food products contained over 80 percent more salt than the federal guidelines, while pizza came in at number two with 70 percent higher salt content than recommended. Cold cuts and soups also were found to have really dangerous and unhealthy amounts of salt. Nearly 77 percent of all salt that Americans take in comes from packaged foods, take-out, and restaurant foods. The recommended amount of salt each day is about 2,300 milligrams, but Americans are consuming about 3,500 milligrams due to the excessive salt content in these types of products. The report from the CDC also says that 60 percent of Americans need to limit their salt to 1,500 milligrams a day due to health problems such as high blood pressure. The report concludes that Americans are putting themselves at higher risk for developing serious health problems due to manufactures mislabeling products.

As for what people can do to decrease their risk of consuming harmful amounts of salt, the best thing to do is limit the amount of packaged and processed foods you purchase. Instead of purchasing prepackaged deli meats, go to the deli counter where you can have those slices of turkey or ham cut fresh. Most prepackaged deli meats contain excessive amounts of salt to keep the product good on the store shelf for long periods of time. Since manufactures are often misleading consumers on the actual salt content found in the product, it is not always worth your time to read the label.

The biggest way you can cut down on salt intake is to cook homemade meals and make a lot of products from scratch or purchase organic products. The downside to this is that doing these things will cost you more, since you will have to buy everything to make your own soup or pasta for instance, but in the long run you will significantly cut down on your salt intake. If you are suffering from high blood pressure then you need to be more aware of the amount of packaged and processed foods you are eating, and try to limit these products as much as possible. You also should cut down on the amount of fast food you eat, while also limiting the amount of times you go to a restaurant as well. As with anything that you put into your body, moderation is essential, especially when the manufactures are not being honest about the true levels of potentially harmful ingredients in their products.

Jeanne Rose
Jeanne Rose lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been a freelance writer since 2010. She took Allied Health in vocational school where she earned her CNA/PCA, and worked in a hospital for 3 years. Jeanne enjoys writing about science, health, politics, business, and other topics as well.


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