Trend to Lower Salt Can Affect Taste

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 15 (UPI) — One of the newest healthier food trends is low-sodium or no-salt foods but consumers often complain the food has no taste, a U.S. report says.

The report by Packaged Facts, a market research firm, says in the beginning of 2010, consumer awareness of the benefits of reducing salt in the diet — such as reducing blood pressure — was high.

Seventy-five percent of the salt in a U.S. consumer’s diet comes in the form of processed foods, beverages and food purchased in restaurants.

The recommended daily intake for sodium is 2,300 milligrams per day — about one teaspoon of salt — but the average U.S. consumer eats an estimated 3,800 mg of sodium daily, while those on a steady diet of fast-food or processed food can consume 10,000 mg of salt a day.

Several consumer and health organizations have asked the government to require that salt be listed as a food additive — and some have asked that a hypertension warning be added to food labels of high-sodium foods, the report said.

However, health studies are inconclusive and with the exception of salt-sensitive people — 25 percent of the population — there is mixed evidence that dietary sodium raises blood serum sodium, the report says.

Some food manufacturers are quietly reducing sodium levels, while some companies boldly display reduced or low-sodium content, the report says.

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