Health experts are giving sugar a reprieve in the case against obesity. While sugar and its many processed variations are running amok in the food we eat at home or away, fats, oils, flour and cereal are more to blame for America’s continuous bloat.
According to the CDC, 25.6% of Americans have a BMI greater than thirty, firmly planting them into the obese category. Since we tend to lie about how tall we are and how much we weigh, the figure is probably a bit generous, but it’s a 10.3% increase since 20 years ago, and that’s alarming.
A New York Times article reports that Americans are consuming 448 more daily calories— or 20% more—than they were in 1970. The Department of Agriculture says 242 of those calories are from fats and oils, 167 are from flour and cereal, and only 35 are from sugars. (more…)
Bloating, high blood pressure, extra calories… too much sodium in your diet can lead to all three, none of which are conducive to weight loss. Experts recommend 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily, or 1,500 if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, are African American, or 51 and older. That means about half the U.S. population should, theoretically, cap it at 1,500 mg, but it’s pretty much impossible unless you do all your own cooking and use very few packaged foods. In fact, you’d be surprised how easy it is to blow right by these levels. (Check out Why You Should Shake Your Salt Habit to learn why everyone should cut back on sodium.)
You can slash your intake by:
Reading labels. It’s eye-opening how many foods are laden with sodium, from your go-to whole-wheat bread to your favorite salad dressing to your usual breakfast cereal. Make it a habit to check the label for sodium content before putting anything in your grocery cart. Choose foods that are lower in sodium in each category, or even better, opt for “no salt added” (canned tomatoes, canned beans, grain mixes). (more…)
Do you know how much sodium is safe to consume on a daily basis? And perhaps more importantly, do you know how much sodium is actually in the foods you eat? If you answered ‘no’ to either of these questions, the American Heart Association is here to help. The organization is seeking to provide some clarity on the topic of sodium with the introduction of its “Salty Six” – a list of six popular foods that are likely adding the highest levels of sodium to your diet.
It’s no secret that foods like canned soup and salty pizza made the list for their outrageous levels of sodium. But would you be surprised to know that bread and rolls ranked number one on the Salty Six and poultry and sandwiches followed not far behind?
Our kids can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to their diet. New research is pointing to an elevated consumption of sodium in children that’s leading to another childhood health issue: high blood pressure.
Just like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure was once thought of as an adult disease – something that happened to adults who spent a lifetime of shaking too much salt on their food and getting too little exercise. It seems this isn’t true anymore.
NPR’s food blog, “The Salt,” reported about new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new research found that children between age 8 to 18 are taking in nearly 1,000 more milligrams of sodium than is recommended and this is resulting in high blood pressure.
In fact, 15 percent of the children in the study were found to have high or elevated blood pressure. It’s important to note that the association with high blood pressure was higher in those children who were also overweight.
What’s interesting about these statistics is that these kids aren’t getting their sodium from too many shakes of the salt shaker, which may be the culprit for their grandparents; they’re getting too much sodium from the abundance of processed foods in their diets. (more…)