By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on April 27, 2010 2:00 PM
Do you love French fries, potato chips, salty pretzels…do you see where this is going, New York? If you’re a fan of salty foods (and who isn’t, really), you probably know that all that salt isn’t great for you. Now, the National Salt Reduction Initiative aims to do something about it. New York City wants you to reduce your salt consumption, and for starters, 16 companies and restaurants have committed to help you do just that. The initiative is voluntary, and participating companies, restaurants, and chains include Starbucks, Heinz, Au Bon Pain, Subway and Goya. They have agreed to reduce salt in their products by 25 percent over the next five years. Other restaurants and companies have been urged to join the initiative as well. According to New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Americans get 80 percent of their salt intake from packaged foods and restaurants in the form of preservatives. Adding salt yourself only accounts for about 1 percent of salt consumption. About nine percent comes from sodium that occurs naturally in food. Health organizations recommend about 1500 to 2400 milligrams of salt per day per healthy adult. Reducing salt intake has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes; city officials say that as many as 23,000 New Yorkers could reduce their risks of dying from those problems. Officials promise that the reduction will be gradual--and that New Yorkers won’t even notice the difference. The city already has mandatory rules for posting calorie counts as well as a ban on trans fats. The ultimate goal? To reduce American’s salt consumption by 20 percent by the year 2014.