The U.S. today released new nutrition guidelines today. Bad news for people who have other people cook most meals for them in cafeterias, nursing homes, through take-out, from prepared deli items in the supermarket, from fancy food in gourmet shops, in fast food restaurants, and in fancy or not so fancy restaurants.
Why is that?
In a word: Salt.
Back on 4/4/10, I wrote about this in The Boston Globe Sunday magazine: www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2010/04/04/getting_chefs_to_pass_up_the_salt/.
Hoo-wee! judging from the reaction, you’d have thought I was personally responsible for robbing people of their god given right to stoke up on salt. Increased risk due to salt of coronaries and high blood pressure? Well, never mind.
Anyhow, today’s piece in the Times on the new U.S. government standards on salt tells the full story: www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/business/01food.html?_r=1&hp.
Highlights in the new standards:
• “Among the recommendations: that anyone 51 or older, all African-Americans, children, and adults with hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease should cut their salt consumption to 1,500 milligrams a day; the recommendation for everyone else is 2,300 milligrams.”
• “The guidelines recommend consuming less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids, replacing them with so-called good fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.”
Well, who has the time to cook at home? Who, I ask, who? Will the guidelines lead the cooks to lower salt in the prepared they sell?
Don’t count on it.