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NewsBites July 2011 Issue

Most Fooled by “Sea Salt,” Wrong About Sodium Sources

Makers of TV commercials about fries and other products seasoned with “sea salt” know their audience: According to a new American Heart Association survey, 61% of Americans erroneously think that sea salt is a healthier, lower-sodium alternative to regular salt. In fact, sea salt is the same sodium chloride, simply harvested from seawater rather than mined. The US public is equally confused, the survey found, about the primary source of dietary sodium: 46% blamed the salt shaker, when in fact most dietary sodium comes from salt in processed foods. Fewer than a quarter of respondents knew that the heart association recommends a daily maximum of 1,500 mg for sodium, and only 59% knew what their blood pressure is. The survey of 1,000 adults also asked about wine, which 76% said is good for the heart; only 30%, however, knew the recommended limits beyond which wine can be too much of a good thing (two drinks daily for men, one for women).

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