The “Salty Six”- Which Foods to Avoid?
The “Salty Six”, as the American Heart Association is calling them, are extremely common everyday foods that people do not realize are packed with a high amount of sodium, which severely increases a person’s risk of developing a stroke or heart problems. Now, the AHA is revealing easy ways to lower salt consumption, even on the go. While shopping, consumers can look for the Heart-Check Mark to know which foods have been approved by the AHA as having a healthy amount of sodium.
In the U.S., salt consumption is a major issue. A new study by AHA and ASA revealed that the average American has a daily salt intake level of around 3,400 milligrams, while the recommended amount is 1,500 milligrams. This is mostly due to processed foods and restaurant foods which account for 75% of our salt consumption.
The 6 following foods are the main sources of sodium in society’s diet today:
- Bread and rolls – Bread is packed with carbs and calories, but according to the new report, it is also high in salt, even though it does not taste salty. One piece of bread can have more than 230 milligrams of sodium, which accounts for 15% of the recommended daily amount.
- Cold cuts and cured meats – Although cold cuts are normally seen as a healthy way to go, deli meat and pre-packaged turkey can hold up to 1,050 milligrams of sodium, and it is added to most cooked meats to keep them from spoiling.
- Pizza – Pizza contains fat, calories and cholesterol, but according to the report, it also contains high levels of sodium, around 760 milligrams per slice.
- Poultry – The common belief is that chicken is not bad for you. However, sodium levels found in poultry are always different, depending on how it is prepared. The best option is to stick with grilled, lean, skinless chicken, even though these kinds still have added sodium.
- Soup – Although soup is not considered unhealthy, especially because Moms use it as a remedy when children are sick, it can contain up to 940 milligrams per serving.
- Sandwiches – Whether it be a hamburger, tuna sandwich, or a grilled cheese, the bread of a sandwich and cured meats both contain sodium, and when ketchup or mustard is added to the mix, a sandwich could have as much as 1,500 milligrams of sodium.
- Tagged AHA, American Heart Association, blood pressure, bread, cold cuts, cured meats, low sodium, nutrition, pizza, poultry, salt, sandwiches, soup, stroke
Nutrition Myth Busters
I stumbled across a clip from Fox News on nutrition myths. The news station put into perspective how consumers seem to be confused about what’s really healthy versus unhealthy.
For a professional opinion, the show brought on Elizabeth Ward, RD to play their version of Myth Busters for all those consumers who thought they were grocery shopping the “right” way. Elizabeth Ward is not only a RD, but also the author of “MyPlate for Moms: How to Feed Yourself and Your Family Better”. So, the host and guest host addressed 4 commonly thought myths from consumers across the country.
Myth 1: All white foods are bad.
- A common misconception is that consumers should avoid all white and tan colored foods.
- Consumers focus so much on bright colored fruits and vegetables, and apprehensively shy away from white colored foods.
- Consumers assume that they should avoid all white carbs because of their bad reputation.
- The standard is 3 servings/day of whole grains
- People need to understand that the key to a healthy diet is a balanced diet.
- There are white foods that consumers do not need to be afraid of! If they’re looking for those phytochemicals that are in all those bright, colorful veggies- there’s no need to stray away.
- Here are some white colored fruits and veggies to think about: cauliflower, mushrooms, bananas, dates, garlic, ginger, jicama, kohlrabi, onions, parsnips, shallots, turnips, and white corn. These foods also include those important phytochemicals that are in brighter colored produce.
Myth 2: All canned fruits and vegetables are bad.
- Most consumers assume that canned fruits and vegetables are unhealthy. This is not true.
- Elizabeth reminds viewers that not all canned fruits and vegetables are created equally.
- Consumers need to look for labels that read:
- No added salt
- No added sugar, or
- Low sodium
- Canned fruits and vegetables are picked at ripeness. The canning process actually preserves the nutritional value in these foods. And this is especially important in those cold winter months when your favorite produce isn’t in season.
- The important issue here is READING the LABELS on your canned foods (as mentioned above)
- Elizabeth Ward also reminds viewers that fruit cups in water or 100% juice is another form of a healthier canned food item.
Myth 3: Eggs are as healthy as cigarettes.
- This statement was based on an observational study done by scientists. It wasn’t based on a cause and effect study. So, that alone implies biased reasoning.
- According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, a healthy person can eat 1 egg per day.
- I think that the uproar about this is the fact that yolk has a bad reputation, concerning cholesterol levels.
- But, our RD on-hand explains that yolks consist of 90% of an egg’s nutritional value.
Myth 4: You lose weight by only exercising.
- A lot of consumers believe that they can eat whatever they want and just workout a little bit longer, and the weight will just shed off of them. This isn’t true either!
- Studies have shown that shorter exercises and cutting back on calories will result in more weight loss and for the long-run.
- Harder workouts aren’t acknowledged as longitudinal, compared to shorter, more frequent workouts
- And of course, cutting back on calories is definitely a major component in weight loss. Ridding unnecessary calories from your typical diet is the key to success.
- Again, the concept of moderation is stressed here again. Everything that a healthy person does to their body or consumes in their body should be in moderation. Physical exertion and calories included.
- Tagged balanced diet, Boston, canned, canning, eggs, Elizabeth Ward, exercise, foods, Fox News, fruits, Harvard, low sodium, MyPlate, myths, nutrition, preservation, Public Health, vegetables, veggies