EXAMPLES OF GRAPHICS TO SHOW FOOD VALUES
Permanent URL: salt.globe1234.com
B. Know where to look
C. Health organizations' advice
D. Results of high sodium diet: broken bones, stroke, kidney failure, weakness
E. How much sodium is OK?
G. Published Diets
A. Overview - Salt leads to broken bones, strokes, and kidney failure, besides raising blood pressure. Studies are in section D. Ordinary meals can vary from 400 mg sodium per day to over 4,000, depending on the exact foods eaten. Section B tells you where to find low sodium choices among the 43,000 items in an average supermarket. Reading thousands of labels is too arduous, and you can ask manufacturers to adopt graphic labels like these:
Section B tells you exactly where to look for low-sodium foods. Here are examples of how your meals could work out (click for a more detailed example).
LOW HIGH (Milligrams of sodium)
395 4,345 TOTAL
75 75 Egg or egg white
35 35 Milk, 2 ounces for cereal
0 Oatmeal or shredded wheat
290 Grape Nuts
50 920 Vegetable soup
45 340 Cottage cheese
0 440 Bread, two slices
0 95 Butter
10 350 Cheese, one slice
110 1,400 Turkey, two servings (sandwich & dinner)
60 60 Vegetables, 3 servings
10 10 Fruits, 2 servings
0 290 Buttered popcorn
0 40 Water, one liter
B. Know where to look. Look for the foods below. All these are far better than the FDA goals.
21. RESTAURANTS - When you go to restaurant chains, take this bar graph of outstanding food at each chain. Ask for their list of salt content, or look first at New York's list of many national chains, which you can sort to find low sodium. You can also check the chains' websites as I did.
22. REFERENCES include:
C. Health organizations' advice is to control salt in the diet to avoid high blood pressure. The advice usually omits crucial information:
D. Results of high sodium diet: broken bones, stroke, kidney failure, weakness.
E. How much sodium is OK?
G. Published Diets:
Most published diets have too much sodium, too little potassium, calcium and iron, according to Diet guidelines. The 4 sample menus below all have enough of the nutrients shown.
DAILY MENUS CALORIES SODIUM POTASSIUM CALCIUM IRON
Globe1234 1,500 420 5,300 1,000 18
Raw 2,440 846 11,401 1,660 24
"What I Eat" 3,104 1,404 6,050 1,070 22
NIH Low Salt #6 1,935 1,472 4,710 1,214
A list of 40 other sample menus and US dietary standards shows how the recommended diets fall short of the standards, which makes it hard for people to follow the standards. A spreadsheet version of the list also shows how many calories we need, according to our age and height.
Aside from one NIH diet, #6 listed above, all other diets from NIH, USDA, and the National Institute on Aging fail the standards, with excess sodium or shortfalls in other nutrients. US News and World Report lists 32 other diets, showing some of the same nutrients above; none of those diets has appropriate sodium (below 1,500) and potassium (above 4,700).
There is a software website, EatThisMuch, (or another version Swole.me)which will generate diets with your choice of calories, sodium, protein, fiber, carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol. It is very helpful and creative, though even that site usually does not give enough calcium, potassium or other micronutrients.
Gerber offers a menu planner for children up to 4 years old. Sometimes a screen asks whether you are a health care professional (undefined); "no" takes you away from the planner, "yes" lets you continue. Click "Generate" for a week of menus, with a mix of Gerber products and unbranded foods. Then click in the "Nutrition Details" box (upper right) to see daily totals of sodium and other nutrients. Finally click the column heading for each Day to see nutrients of each food. For example they averaged 1,000 mg/day sodium for a 4-year-old, but suggested one day withe 1,500 mg. Clicking on that day showed they included 724 mg from a sloppy Joe sandwich, 241 from a waffle and 164 from a tablespoon of Ranch dressing, so it wouldn't be hard to cut back.