The popular belief that salty foods are more palpable than those low in sodium has been challenged by a group of American researchers.
In this latest analysis of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-Sodium trial, 412 adults ate foods with high, intermediate or low sodium levels for 30 days each.
In addition to having significantly lower blood pressure on the lower sodium diets, the researchers also found that the low sodium diet was just as acceptable as the high sodium diet. The intermediate level of sodium was most preferred by the participants who completed an "acceptability" questionnaire.
The researchers believe that the taste for salt is a learned preference that can gradually be unlearned. They recommend that consumers follow an intermediate level of sodium (2,300 milligrams per day for a 2,100 kcal diet) and slowly decrease to a low sodium diet (1, 200 milligrams per day).
According to Statistics Canada, 85 percent of Canadian men and 60 percent of Canadian women consume more than the daily recommended upper limit (2300 milligrams) of sodium. Pizza, sandwiches, submarines, hamburgers and hot dogs account for most of our sodium intake. For instance, one Food Guide serving of pepperoni pizza contains about 900 milligrams of sodium!
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