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in blood pressure for
some people, while
causing a cascade of
several other negative
health impacts (insulin
resistance, diabetes,
increases in cholesterol
and triglycerides, car-
diovascular events, etc.)
for everyone.
Despite the facts, some
food activists are calling
on the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to
regulate the salt content
of the food Americans
eat, much like the recent
ban on trans fats. Cur-
rently the FDA consid-
ers salt to be a ¡°gener-
ally recognized as safe
(GRAS) ingredient. A
GRAS substance is one
that has a long history
of safe, common use in
foods or that is deter-
mined to be safe, for the
intended use, based on
proven science.¡±
Multiple peer-reviewed
studies published to
date demonstrate that
when sodium intakes
fall below 3,400 mg/day
(the amount the average
American consumes)
a rapid rise in plasma
renin and aldosterone
occurs and may result
in insulin resistance,
metabolic syndrome, in-
creased mortality from
Food & Garden
2014 February
Pg 9 - The Sunshine Express
The team sports dietitians for the New England
Patriots and Denver Broncos give snack tips
(BPT) - Ted Harper, the team sports dietitian
of the New England Patriots, and Bryan Sny-
der, the team nutrition manager for the Denver
Broncos, may be rivals on the field, but when
it comes to nutrition, they agree on one thing:
pistachios are an ideal snack, whether you¡¯re a
professional athlete or an armchair spectator.
Harper and Snyder meticulously plan the diets
of their teams to maximize each player¡¯s perfor-
mance and recovery. The hard-hitting impact
of weekly games and daily practices takes a toll
on the players¡¯ bodies and their nutrition plan
is designed to help them achieve specific perfor-
mance and recovery goals.
Both agree that, while the ¡°Average Joe or
Joann¡± doesn¡¯t take the same hits as a profes-
sional football player, he or she still needs a
healthy diet to battle the stresses of everyday
According to Harper and Snyder, a big part of
one¡¯s nutrition plan should be mindful snacking
habits. And are those choices helping or hurting
your everyday performance?
¡°One very easy way to improve your overall
nutrition is to replace some or all (depending on
how you want to tackle the situation; gradually
or with full force) of your not-so-wise snacks
like chips, cheese flavored crackers, sugary ¡®fruit
snacks¡¯, pre-made snack cakes, cookies, soda,
or candy, with something that still tastes good,
but is full of healthy nutrients,¡± says Harper.
¡°Pistachios are one of the best recommendations
I can make, because they¡¯re packed with many
important nutrients and because they are very
versatile. They lend themselves to just snack on
in a pinch, or can be incorporated into the larger
scheme of things like adding them into smooth-
ies, topping off oatmeal or sprinkled over a
Pistachios contain important nutrients, such as
potassium, calcium, magnesium and phospho-
rus, which can contribute to a lower risk of heart
disease. They¡¯re also a great snack to help with
weight management and may help prevent hy-
pertension and lower blood pressure, according
to recent studies.
People who eat a handful of nuts (including pis-
tachios) daily have a 20 percent lower death rate,
according to to a 30-year research project pub-
lished in the New England Journal of Medicine,
the largest study of its kind. In addition, other
supporting studies showed people who eat nuts
regularly tend to remain leaner due to an asso-
ciation with reduced waist sizes and less weight
gain throughout the course of life, compared to
individuals who don¡¯t regularly eat nuts.
Snyder adds that pistachios are a great snack for
anyone looking to lose a few pounds.
¡°Not only do pistachios contain fiber and
protein, but a study showed that people eat 41
percent less when they snack on in-shell pista-
chios compared to those who consumed shelled
pistachios,¡± he says. ¡°Cracking open each nut
slows down your consumption, and the empty
shells serve as an unconscious visual reminder
of how much you¡¯ve eaten.¡±
¡°We¡¯re all concerned about our heart health and
living a healthy, active lifestyle,¡± says Snyder.
¡°It¡¯s important that you make smart choices
with your nutrition so you can support these
Snack Like A Pro
medical experts on this panel was that blood
pressure is only one of many factors that should
be considered in evaluating dietary changes and
studies indicate there are negative effects from
reducing sodium to very low levels.
¡°This report cautions against drastic sodium
reduction efforts to get people to consume danger-
ously low levels of sodium of 1,500 mg a day,¡±
says Salt Institute Vice President of Science and
Research, Morton Satin. ¡°There is no scientific jus-
tification for population-wide sodium reduction
to such low levels and the recognition by the IOM
experts that such low levels may cause harm may
help steer overzealous organizations away from
reckless recommendations.¡±
As a result of the IOM report and other research
on salt and health, Hypertension Canada has actu-
ally raised its recommendation on the minimum
level of sodium consumption, the first national
organization to do this. The available evidence
shows that significant cuts in salt (sodium chlo-
ride) consumption can result in small reductions
Health story of the year
2013: salt is vindicated
(BPT) - An ever increas-
ing body of academic
research is showing that
the current level of salt
Americans consume
is not only perfectly
healthy but that adopt-
ing low-salt recommen-
dations will actually
harm people. The most
recent example of this
is a review of all avail-
able research on salt and
health by the Institute
for Medicine (IOM).
The consensus of the
congestive heart failure -and types 1 and 2
diabetes, more frequent cardiovascular events,
cognition loss, stress, dehydration, and overall
increased morbidity and mortality.
In addition, international demographic figures on
life expectancy reveal that those countries which
consume the lowest salt intake have the shortest
life expectancies while those with the highest salt
diets, including the Mediterranean and Japanese
diets, are considered to be the most heart-healthy.
¡°The vindication of salt is probably the biggest
health and nutrition story of this year,¡± says Lori
Roman, president of the Salt Institute. ¡°Everyone
¡°Science Is On
Salt¡¯s Side¡±
knows salt tastes good, but
the latest research pub-
lished in leading medical
journals confirms that salt
is good for you, too. The
medical studies underline
what we have been saying
for years: science is on
salt¡¯s side.¡±