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With a grain of salt

June 20, 2016

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Many believe thousands of lives could be saved simply by avoiding salt. Yet, the new American sodium standard, which will affect the palettes and change the food industry worldwide, may bring little to no health benefits.

Sodium chloride, so precious the Roman soldiers once received part of their paychecks in salt, hence the name salary, still remains on our tables. But salt on its own is not the problem, in fact, it is essential in keeping us healthy. The problem arises when consumed in access and this is where the new standard comes in. We have always used salt to preserve produce, but today, in the era of processed food, we are having it too much. More than two thirds of our daily intake were already in our food, even before it reached the table. Strips of bacon, for instance, that used to be part of the traditional labourers’ breakfast, contain half of the new daily allowance. Just by adding a couple of tablespoons of dressing to the healthy salad lunch will put you over the limit. Yet, the notorious processed products are not the only villains. An innocent slice of bread may today contain more sodium than the serving of French fries in the fast food restaurant.

One way or another, the American sodium standard, as almost any talk of food, comes with the controversy. Some scientists even believe that dropping below a certain level of salt may backfire and can actually increase the risk of heart attacks. Many food giants, however, have made the decision and are already reducing the ill repute spice in their products. Let us just hope it will not be replaced with something more unhealthy.

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From → Hic Salta

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