February 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts February 2003 Current Issue
February 2003
Short Cuts:

The Shakeout on Salt

Even if you never wield a salt shaker, chances are you’re getting too much sodium in your diet. Indeed, processed foods and restaurant meals often are extremely high in salt.

More is at stake than flavor: Diets high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure and hypertension, upping the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov) advises adults to limit sodium to 2,400 milligrams a day. But it’s easy to blow these numbers in one sitting: A McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich has 1,180 milligrams of sodium; a half-cup serving of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup has 890 milligrams (and that little can has 2.5 servings).

To cut back on sodium, try these tips.

Up your intake of high-potassium foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
When dining out, ask your server to recommend low-salt dishes, or request that your meal be prepared without salt.
When cooking, use herbs, spices and lemon juice to add flavor.

• C.A.S.

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