ANCHOR LEAD: THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE HAS MADE PLANS TO REDUCE DIETARY SALT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
We’ve known for decades that excess salt consumption causes high blood pressure in most people, and most of us are judicious in adding salt to foods. But the majority of salt is already in the foods we consume, added there by manufacturers. Lawrence Appel, a dietary salt expert at Johns Hopkins, applauds the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations that the FDA regulate salt in foods and plan to reduce it over time.
APPEL: You could never take salt out completely now or dramatically reduce it. But the slow gradual process works. People don’t notice the change. What we’ve noticed in our own studies and what other people have documented in their research is that once sodium is reduced our palates get accustomed to it and food that we had previously consumed will now appear to be salty. :22
The FDA’s plan will take several years to implement completely but should result in a substantial reduction in salt content in prepared foods, and improve blood pressure nationally. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.