February 8, 2012
By: CBS News Staff
Americans get too much sodium, according to a new government report. That fact may not come as a shock to a fast food nation, but what’s surprising is where the sodium comes from.
Sodium overkill: Top 10 culprits in U.S. diet
For the report – released Feb. 7 – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled a list of the top 10 sources of sodium in the U.S. diet. These 10 foods were found responsible for 44 percent of all sodium consumed, HealthPop reported.
But salty snacks, such as potato chips, were last on the list.
“Potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn – which we think of as the saltiest foods in our diet – are only No. 10,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
If not salty snacks, then what was the biggest contributor of sodium? Bread and rolls – accounting for twice as much sodium as salty junk food.
Breads and rolls aren’t really saltier than many of the other foods, but people tend to eat a lot of them, said Mary Cogswell, a CDC senior scientist who co-authored the report.
Registered dietitian Amy Jamieson-Petonic, director of wellness coaching at Cleveland Clinic and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told HealthPop that she recommends opting for breads with “low sodium” on the label, and avoiding salty meats in sandwiches.
Salt is the main source of sodium for most people, and sodium increases the risk for high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Health officials say most Americans get too much salt, mostly from processed and restaurant foods – not added from the salt shaker.
Dietary guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, equal to about a teaspoon of salt. Certain people, such as those with high blood pressure, should eat even less. But average sodium consumption in the U.S. is around 3,300 milligrams, the CDC study found. Only 1 in 10 Americans meet the teaspoon guideline.
“It’s possible to eat a whole bunch of sodium without it seeming salty,” John Hayes, an assistant professor of food science at Penn State, said.
Other items on the list include soups, pizza, cold cuts and cured meats, and pasta dishes.
The amount of sodium in food types can vary. For example, a slice of white bread can have between 80 and 230 milligrams of sodium. A cup of canned chicken noodle soup has between 100 and 940 milligram. A small 1 ounce bag of potato chips ranges from 50 to 200 milligrams.
The new CDC report is based on surveys of more than 7,200 people in 2007 and 2008, including nearly 3,000 children. Participants were surveyed twice, each time answering detailed questions about what they had eaten over the previous day.
What should people do to cut their sodium intake?
“Cooking fresh food at home is the best way to lower sodium,” Samantha Heller, a dietitian and clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., told HealthDay.
June 20th, 2011
By: Mike Adams
If you read the ingredients label on a loaf of bread, you will usually find an ingredient listed there as L-cysteine. This is a non-essential amino acid added to many baked goods as a dough conditioner in order to speed industrial processing. It’s usually not added directly to flour intended for home use, but you’ll find it throughout commercial breads such as pizza dough, bread rolls and pastries.
While some L-cysteine is directly synthesized in laboratories, most of it is extracted from a cheap and abundant natural protein source: human hair. The hair is dissolved in acid and L-cysteine is isolated through a chemical process, then packaged and shipped off to commercial bread producers. Besides human hair, other sources of L-cysteine include chicken feathers, duck feathers, cow horns and petroleum byproducts.
Most of the hair used to make L-cysteine is gathered from the floors of barbershops and hair salons in China, by the way.
While the thought of eating dissolved hair might make some people uneasy, most Western consumers ultimately have no principled objections doing so. For Jews and Muslims, however, hair-derived L-cysteine poses significant problems. Muslims are forbidden from eating anything derived from a human body, and many rabbis forbid hair consumption for similar reasons. Even rabbis who permit the consumption of hair would forbid it if it came from corpses — and since much L-cysteine comes from China, where sourcing and manufacturing practices are notoriously questionable, this is a real concern. In one case, a rabbi forbade the consumption of L-cysteine because the hair had been harvested during a ritual at a temple in India.