Government adjusts dietary guidelines - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Government adjusts dietary guidelines

Posted by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Eat less salt!  That's the word from the federal government as officials try to balance the scales and get America's health back on track.

"One of the most important things we can do is to get people information based on the latest science and research," said Kathleen Sebilius.

The new information means changes to federal dietary guidelines.   Now, Sebelius is asking people over 51, African Americans, and those with a history of hypertension, diabetes or kidney problems to only take in 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.

That's a little more than a half teaspoon. The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams.

"It's scary to think that that's what would be in a normal day's diet," said Sheila Crews of Montgomery.

People like Sheila Crews know the pressures of a fast paced life.  Sodium is hardly ever a concern.

"I was a salt fiend," Crews admits.

Even keeping your diet below 2,300 milligrams--the recommended amount for everyone else--can be tricky.

"It's about a teaspoon, which you can do if you don't eat out all the time and you cook at home and aren't adding a lot of salt," said Ashton Smith, a clinical dietician at Jackson Hospital.

Smith says to check the "nutrition facts" on your food, and beware of the sodium content.

"It's in a lot of processed foods, things you buy that are already made that are cured, processed meats, any packaged foods," Smith explained.

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