American Morning

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February 1st, 2011
09:20 AM ET

Lay off the salt, ease up on the drinking, say new USDA guidelines

The USDA gives new guidelines this week for the food you put on your plate. The focus is less about specific foods and more about the ingredients inside the foods that make up a meal, especially sodium.

The recommendations encourage Americans to not only focus on what they eat, but on how they eat as well. The USDA says people need to cut back on salt, sugar and fat, trim their portion sizes and limit alcohol to one drink a day for women and two for men.

The guidelines, which are updated every five years, recommend that people over age 51, African-Americans and people with a history of hypertension, diabetes or kidney problems limit their daily salt intake to a little over a half a teaspoon. For everyone else, the daily recommendation remains at 2,300 milligrams - about one teaspoon of salt. But that could be tough. A cup of spaghetti and meatballs has approximately 1,000 milligrams of salt in it, and an average frozen meal can have 500 to 1,500 milligrams in just one serving.

Today on American Morning, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains the new guidance on sodium and how the food industry will handle the recommendations.

How will you make the new guidelines work for your family's meals?


Filed under: Food • Health
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. mehran Mashayekh

    To All Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers
    Please dissociate yourself from the Iranian repressive regime as early and as loud as possible. The Iranian regime doesn't want peace in the middle-east and for Palestinians. Ahmadinejad has his own agenda to stay in power. Please announce that you're not believing in the destructi...ve anti-Israeli, anti-Jew rhetoric and anti-human of the Iranian regime. Their Ideology of revenge only leads to more suffering for the Palestinian People.

    February 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  2. Gina

    Dr. Sanjay says most people get 3 1/2 grams of sodium today, but that you should get 2300 or 1500 a day. He should have clarified that *those* numbers were milligrams.

    February 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm |