Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Reason #596 to Stop Eating Processed/Fast/Restaurant Food
There's too damned much salt in it.
Sprinkled into everything from bread to cheese, soups and breakfast cereal, just about every fast-food restaurant meal and now even fresh cuts of meat, salt is ubiquitous in the American food supply. And according to government data, Americans eat far too much of it.

Now the nation’s largest doctors’ group, the American Medical Association, is going after the government and the food industry to reduce what it sees as a persistently high level of salt in many processed foods.
About three-quarters of the salt Americans consume comes from processed food, according to the Department of Agriculture. No more than 10 percent comes out of the salt shaker, and another 10 percent is contained naturally in foods.
When our food contains 10 times as much of something as nature offers, it's a sign we're eating too much of it, as far as I'm concerned. And why do they put so much salt in the food? Because they haven't figured out any other way to mask the fact that their product tastes bad.
Part of the problem is that salt is an easy and cheap way to give processed foods an appealing taste. The manipulation of ingredients that occurs during manufacturing can diminish food flavors, requiring flavor to be added back in.

Gary K. Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a research center in Philadelphia, says that salt also functions as a preservative, gives texture to food and helps hide unpleasant tastes that are sometimes created during processing.

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