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Your body needs less than one gram of sodium a day. That's under half a teaspoon of table salt. But if you are like most Americans, you consume up to four times that amount. The result? Increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
As for added sugar, most of us consume more than twice the recommended daily amount, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and even depression.
In Reducing Sugar and Salt, the doctors at Harvard Medical School give you the know-how to successfully monitor and effectively control the amount of sugar and salt you and your family take in each day.
The report exposes dozens of foods with "hidden" sodium and sugar. For example, a tuna salad sub sandwich can have up to 1,300 milligrams of sodium — more than the daily recommendation — while a bowl of raisin bran delivers 19 grams of added sugar (the equivalent of five teaspoons!)
Reducing Sugar and Salt will give you the facts about how a high-sodium diet can lower bone density, why "lactose-free" does not mean ''sugar-free,'' and whether you're wasting your money on sports drinks when water will do. It also brings you up to date on sugar substitutes, and why you might want to cut back on diet soda.
The report offers strategies for cutting back on sugar and salt at home or dining out. You'll learn smart shopping and cooking tricks that make meals delicious while limiting sodium. You'll find out which fruits are lowest — and highest — in sugar, seven ways to spice up your meals without salt, and satisfying ways to retrain your taste buds to low-salt, low-sugar eating.
Reducing Sugar and Salt also gives you a host of flavorful recipes that minimize or eliminate sugar and salt, from delectable breakfast treats to wholesome lunches and dinners, not to mention perfect-ending desserts and even late-night snacks.
Be good to your body — and yourself. Order your copy of this timely Special Health Report today.
- Bittersweet findings
- Salted out
- Salt and sodium
- A highly evolved mechanism
- Gathering more evidence
- SPECIAL SECTION: Blood pressure basics
- Understanding the numbers
- What does blood pressure measure?
- The story on sugar
- Insulin resistance
- The glycemic index
- Glycemic load: the amount of carbs matters too
- What determines a food’s glycemic index and glycemic load
- Sodas and juice
- Further evidence
- A call to action
- Self-defense: What you can do now
- Spotting and reducing added sugars
- Cut the sweetened beverages
- Cutting back on sodium
- SPECIAL BONUS SECTION: Conquering your salt habit
- The big picture: Total diet focus
- Snacks and meals recipes
- Desserts recipes
Sodas and juice
The lion’s share of added sugar in the U.S. diet comes from soft drinks and fruit juices, which accounts for about two-thirds of our intake. It has increased over the last 30 years for both children and adults. Studies have linked full-calorie, sugar-sweetened drinks to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. A recent study found that among women, even after unhealthful lifestyle or dietary factors were accounted for, regular drinking of soft drinks was associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease.
Imagine dumping seven to nine teaspoons of sugar onto a bowl of cereal. Too sweet to eat? That’s how much sugar is in a 12-ounce can of the most popular soft drinks out there. According to the National Soft Drink Association, the industry makes the equivalent of almost 600 12-ounce cans of regular and diet soda, pop, tonic, or whatever you call it per person each year. The vast majority of this is the full sugar variety. Carbonated soft drinks make up more than 25% of what Americans drink. That’s a huge proportion for a beverage that has absolutely no nutritionally redeeming value.
Sugar-sweetened sodas deliver pure calories completely divorced from the healthful nutrients you might get from real fruit juices, things such as vitamins, minerals, other phytochemicals, and in some cases maybe even some fiber. That’s a problem on more than one level:
Most Americans already take in too many calories and struggle to lose weight. One can of soda a day doesn’t seem like a big deal, especially if you manage to cut back on food calories. If you don’t, though, an extra 120–150calories a day can translate into a substantial amount of weight gain over a year! The danger in drinking frequent or large portions of sugared sodas instead of water is that many people treat “liquid calories” as somehow different from “food calories” and often don’t make up for the calories in soda or juice by eating less.
High-sugar diets make the pancreas pump out more and more insulin, which in the long haul may lead to diabetes. The rapidly digested sugars in soda and fruit juices trigger rapid and intense increases in blood sugar and insulin levels. When this happens several times a day on top of the increases that occur after eating, it can cause problems, especially for people who already are growing more resistant to insulin’s ability to ferry glucose inside cells. Women in the Nurses’ Health Study who drank one soda a day nearly doubled their risk of diabetes. Also, in people who are insulin-resistant, taking in lots of carbohydrates raises the blood level of triglycerides, a kind of fat-carrying particle that increases the risk of heart disease.
Another recent study of more than 50,000 male health professionals between the ages of 40 and 75 year sold found an association between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and higher weight gain and lower weight loss, as well as an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
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