Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Experts call for accelerated national sodium reduction initiatives

21.04.2010
The Harvard School of Public Health nutrition source website offers strategies and recommendations for individuals, chefs, food companies, others

Responding to the health threat posed by Americans' over-consumption of sodium, experts in the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) called today for sodium reduction strategies that are strong and effective—and that maximize the enjoyment people derive from food.

"There is now overwhelming evidence that we must treat sodium reduction as a critical public health priority, much as we did when we discovered the harms of trans fats," said Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, chairman of the department of nutrition, HSPH, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. "The food industry tackled the trans fat reduction challenge with remarkable speed. We invite their best creative minds to bring similar leadership to the equally urgent cause of sodium reduction."

This call for action complements the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) release today of a much-anticipated report, Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. Sodium is a major culprit in our nation's epidemic of high blood pressure—a disease that can start in childhood and will afflict nine out of 10 Americans over the course of their lifetimes. A 35 percent reduction in Americans' average daily sodium intake could save billions of dollars annually on health costs—and save upwards of 90,000 lives—by lowering people's blood pressure, and in turn, their risk of heart disease and stroke. But achieving this will take a comprehensive, population-wide effort, one that includes federal leadership to create a level playing field so that all food companies can move in concert toward gradual, steady reduction of sodium levels.

Policy changes need to go hand in hand with practical strategies. That's why scientists from the department of nutrition at HSPH and culinary experts from the CIA have drawn up "Tasting Success with Cutting the Salt: Twenty Five Science-Based Strategies and Culinary Insights." (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt/tasting-success-with-cutting-salt/index.html) Among the recommendations:

Produce first: Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Our bodies need more potassium than sodium, and many fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium. In addition, produce, which is naturally low in sodium, will displace other high-sodium foods on your plate.

Go nuts for healthy fats in the kitchen: Fat is a great carrier and enhancer of flavor, and using the right fats (including healthy oils, nuts, and avocados) can help make up for any flavor loss from using less salt.

Know your seasons, and, even better, your farmer. Shop for raw ingredients with maximum natural flavor, thereby avoiding the need to add as much (if any) salt.

Sear, sauté, and roast. Take the time to learn some simple cooking techniques that can boost flavors and make your cooking less reliant on sodium.

Spice it up. One of the easiest ways to reduce the need for added salt is through the use of ingredients such as spices, dried and fresh herbs, roots (such as garlic and ginger), citrus, vinegars, and wine.

"Many chefs and food product developers are already hard at work on multipronged initiatives to reduce sodium," said Greg Drescher, CIA's executive director of strategic initiatives and a member of the IOM sodium reduction committee. "We encourage all chefs to think as broadly as possible about ways to reduce sodium, since the sodium issue is not merely about saltiness. It's about flavor, and about the many different strategies chefs and all of us can use to create sensational flavors."

Americans, on average, consume the equivalent of about a teaspoon and a half of salt each day (3,400 milligrams of sodium). The IOM report outlines the steps needed to cut that back to a teaspoon per day (2,300 milligrams of sodium). Doing so will be a major public health achievement, Willett notes, and once we meet that goal, we shouldn't stop there. "The latest research finds that most adults should limit themselves to only 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day, about two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt," Willett says. "To reach that target, we need to make it easy and delicious for consumers to choose foods with less salt."

The top 25 list can be found at "Cutting Salt and Sodium," (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt) a new section of The Nutrition Source (http://www.thenutritionsource.org), HSPH's nutrition website and one of the leading online sources of science-based nutrition information. The website also has questions and answers on the scientific case for sodium reduction, delicious lower-sodium recipes from the CIA, and in-depth coverage of sodium's effects on health.

This collaboration is an outgrowth of a long-running and very successful joint leadership initiative between the department of nutrition at HSPH and the CIA, "Worlds of Healthy Flavors," that annually brings together top nutrition scientists, volume foodservice chefs and operators, and influential culinary experts. With many of today's most urgent diet and health issues having a combination of science, public policy, and taste/flavor components, the department of nutrition at HSPH and CIA view this type of collaboration as essential to achieving real success in fostering healthier food choices. The department of nutrition at HSPH and the CIA also collaborate with the Harvard Medical School Osher Research Center on a groundbreaking, ongoing educational series for physicians and other healthcare professionals, "Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives" (www.healthykitchens.org).

Harvard School of Public Health (www.hsph.harvard.edu) is dedicated to advancing the public's health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children's health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school visit: www.hsph.harvard.edu.

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor's and associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and professional wine studies. The college has campuses in New York (Hyde Park), California (The CIA at Greystone, St. Helena), Texas (San Antonio). In addition to its degree and certificate programs, the CIA offers courses for professionals and food enthusiasts and conducts leadership programs to advance healthier menu options within the foodservice industry. For more information, and a complete listing of program offerings at each site, visit the CIA online at www.ciachef.edu.

Todd Datz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>