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Get The Salt Out!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 3:05pm

Health group calls for new federal measures to lower the amount of sodium in Americans' diet. ..

A prestigious health organization wants Washington to wage war on salt.

The Institute of Medicine says the food and restaurant industries have been so slow at voluntarily reducing salt in their products that it wants the FDA to make sodium reduction mandatory.

With excessive salt a big reason why a third of American adults has high blood pressure.

And with single servings supplying so much of the recommended daily maximum of 23-hundred milligrams the Institute of Medicine wants the Food and Drug Administration to slow the flow of salt.

"The FDA should regulate it like it does many other substances that are not considered safe at all levels," said Dr. Gary Beauchamp of the Institute of Medicine.

The institute says after four decades of sounding the alarm on salt, food makers and restaurants are still reluctant to reduce it even though they're the most common source of it.

"The salt people consume for the most part, maybe as much as 80%, comes from foods that are purchased with the salt already in them," said Beauchamp.

The institute says it doesn't want the nation to quit cold turkey, but rather slowly wean Americans from salt so their taste buds can adjust.

"This would be a gradual process that would be done over a course of years," Beauchamp said.

The American Medical Association says cutting salt intake by half over ten years could save 150,000 lives every year.

The FDA has reacted positively to the Institute of Medicine's recommendations and says it will consider them.

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