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February 1, 2011

Dietary Guidelines -- the salt people are wounded

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for America, "the federal government's evidence-based* nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity," is here, as a big PDF.

Here is the Dietary Guidelines for Americans website, and here, on Obama Foodorama, is a lucid breakdown of some of the report's highlights and implications.

Sodium gets roughed up in the recommendations. "Poor salt," I thought, without a strong industry lobby to defend it. The salt industry does have a lobby, though -- the Salt Institute. The institute's reaction to the guidelines is on its website's front page.

* My posts may be full of typos, wrong words and lousy grammar but they are all evidence-based.

Posted by Richard Gorelick at 10:33 AM | | Comments (4)


I guess I am a salt person, even though I've had to watch my intake for years. But, Richard, I've decided that Prof. McIntyre must be paying you to insert bloopers into the blog to demonstrate just how much work copy editors have to do.

I've avoided things that are obviously bad for my health -- bungee jumping, hard-core drugs, making a pass at a Hells Angel's lady, attendinga a tea party rally in a Nancy Pelosi tee shirt. I'm gonna' take a chance on too much salt.

Oh Salt, my maligned mistress. I had to quit you, per Doctor's orders. At first, oh, at first I resisted, we would sneak around; you remained in my desk drawer, just begging for a shake. But then things began to change, salt. I started to notice a correlation between you, my blood pressure, intense facial flushing and my much despised migraines. And so, with many fond memories, I have to bid you adieu. I try to mask your absence with garlic and the like; I'm surprised how good food can taste without you. And when I'm tempted I have my trusty "no-salt" salt (Potassium). Like an old man, a lonely old man feeding day old bread to birds in the park and lamenting the loss of his beautiful salt.

To salt or not to salt is a health issue if you have a medical problem. Several years ago I was eating dinner at a restaurant bar with a friend. Sitting next to us was a cardiologist. My friend took the top off the salt shaker and assaulted his fries. What ensued was a salt code blue. Putting health aside, this is like the dressing on the salad or on the side discussion. You cannot take out salt, but you can add some. I seem to remember that the tables at Charleston do not have shakers on them? I would guess that we all have had food that was way too salty or bland due to the lack of some salt.

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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