We launched our salt reduction initiative this week http://www.azdhs.gov/salt/. The overall goal is to get Arizonans to reduce their salt intake by paying more attention to the Sodium line in the nutrition facts and being a better- by selecting foods for the family that are lower in sodium.
Sodium can increase your blood pressure and the chances of you having a heart attack or stroke… and heart disease is the leading cause of death in Arizona. National dietary guidelines recommend that many adults eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. For best health, some adults should eat no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day, and you should really pay attention if you’re over 40, are African American or if you already have high blood pressure.
Most people think that they get their salt mostly from adding it with the shaker- but in reality, 80% of the salt that we get is from processed foods. That’s the reason why it’s so important to read the label and buy foods that are lower in sodium.
Start today and become a “Champion for Change” to cut back on your sodium intake. A Champion for Change” is anyone that makes healthy changes in their home or community. Being a Champion is about being committed to keeping you and your family healthy.
You can begin today by looking at our salt education resources on the www.eatwellbewell.org web site, pledge to eat less salt, and signing up for email alerts and pledge to reduce your salt intake.
Why can’t you take responsibility for all the too salty processed foods served in this state’s hospitals, senior centers, schools, and nursing homes. You can’t expect people to make healthy choices when they are not given any healthy choices. The recipes that I saw on your web site seemed to be too high in sodium to satisfy your guidelines.
Licensed facilities operate much like restaurants, unless there is a specific dietary restriction. They serve food the residents will eat. Requests from residents will help change the dietary offerings, the same as the consumer in a restaurant. The best option is always to eat fresh foods which are naturally low in sodium. We are working to increase the low sodium recipes we have available. You can sign up to have one emailed to you every week at ADHS Communication Sign Up.
Regarding Senior Center Congregate meals & Home Delivered Meals for the elderly & disabled:
According to the Older Americans Act (OAA) a state which establishes & operates a nutrition project under Chapter 35 SHALL, among other requirements, ensure that the project provides meals that comply with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) published by the Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture. 42 USC 3030g21 Nutrition
The most recent guidelines (2005) specifies that adults over age 50, blacks, and hypertensive individuals consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. For individuals over 70, the max amount drops to 1,200 mg.
There are other requirements concerning whole grains, trans fats, healthful fats, and fiber which the state fails to meet, but excess sodium is arguably the most egregious.
The 2005 DGA recognizes that the best option is always to eat fresh foods which are naturally low in sodium & endorses the DASH eating plan as an easy way for states to implement the DGA.