Uncle Sam wants you to eat less salt

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Uncle Sam wants you to eat less salt. The Institute of Medicine says regulating the country's food industry is the best way to reduce the amount of sodium in people's diets. Reportedly, there is a plan, already in the works.

The average American eats about one and a half teaspoons of in salt, everyday - twice as much as needed.

"I think it has good intentions of helping consumers," said Jill Coble, a registered dietician with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

Coble said moderation is key but portion sizes have increased, and as a result, so has sodium consumption. Coble added that most Americans eat processed food. Lowering the amount of sodium Americans eat can also help lower the number of heart disease cases, hypertension and high blood pressure.  But, for some, more regulation raises more concerns.

"[It's] too intrusive," said Sandra Magill.  "This seems to be a move toward, 'Well, you're going to be penalized if you choose to eat things that could ultimately be unhealthy.' That should be your own decision."

"I don't think the government is trying to put people out of business," said Sam Greenberg with Greenberg Smoked Turkey, Inc. "It's just helping the consumer."

Greenberg's company has been smoking turkeys in Tyler for more than 70 years. Greenberg said the company does use salt, and it will abide by the expected regulations when they come down.

The plan is to gradually decrease the amount of salt in American's food over the next 10 years to help our taste buds get used to the idea.

It seems John Soules Foods saw the move coming. Tim Ellis, executive vice-president of operations, said John Soules Foods began reducing sodium levels last year.  By June, all John Soules Foods products will be marketed with reduced salt levels.

"We need education," said Coble.  She said teaching people how to shop and what to look out for at the grocery store and at their favorite restaurants can help consumers make good food decision.

So, should the Food and Drug Administration regulate the amount of salt in our food? We want to hear from you. Scroll down to the comments section and share your thoughts.

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