Breads and sandwiches included in American Heart Association’s ‘salty six’ 麵包、三明治偏鹹!吃太多會傷「心」

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - Page 11

Last week the American Heart Association (AHA) released a list of six popular foods in the US that can potentially add high levels of sodium to a person’s diet. The list includes breads and sandwiches, which people do not usually think of as excessively salty foods. Hsu Hui-yu, director of the nutritional section of the John Tung Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to public welfare, says that since winter is upon us now, people need to be wary of eating processed foods included in hot pot meals, which usually contain high amounts of sodium, although they may not taste that salty. If you also dip the foods in soy sauce or shacha sauce, the levels of salt and sodium can go through the roof. She says people should also watch the amount of salt they use when cooking at home.

The AHA says that the chances of developing heart disease or stroke increase significantly if your salt intake exceeds recommended levels. In order to have Americans pay more attention to what they are eating, the organization created this list of six popular foods that can be loaded with excess sodium: breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry products, soup and sandwiches.

Hsu says that bread is different from rice because it is a staple food that usually calls for salt, oil and sugar for flavoring, adding that if you do eat bread to choose European-style breads. Although they taste sweet or sour, many desserts, including chocolate, cookies, and candied or preserved fruits, also usually have a lot of salt in them, so you must control yourself, she says.

Hsu also reminds people that the average person only needs 6g of salt or 2000mg of sodium per day. People who often eat out should work at calculating and controlling their salt and sodium intake, while people cooking at home should also be paying more attention, she says. If you have high blood pressure, you might consider buying low-sodium salt, but be aware that low-sodium salts contain high levels of potassium chloride, making them unsuitable for people with kidney disease, Hsu says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)