Report aims at reducing salt intake

Savannah, GA - SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Institute of Medicine is urging the Federal Drug Administration to set limits on how much salt manufacturers can put in the foods we eat.

But some people think that's going too far.

From the kitchen to the cafeteria line, Candler Hospital executive chef Christopher Eiseman, is careful about how much sodium-heavy foods he serves.

"We do have low sodium diets that we work with," he said.

In fact, many items on his list are "Weight Watcher" approved. Chef Eiseman understands the dangers behind eating too many processed foods.

"The problem today is so many people don't do their own scratch cooking," he explained. "They buy so many processed things and don't look at the labels and don't understand all the ingredients that are in there. So, unknowingly, the consume without having the knowledge of the amount of fat, sodium or other nutrients in there."

But he believes if the government arms people with that knowledge, they'll watch what they eat.

Barbara Milligan says she doesn't add extra salt to her food, but admits she doesn't watch her salt intake like she should. But she doesn't feel the government should control her sodium intake for her.

"I think that's way too much government control," she said. "If the information is provided then I can do something with it. I don't want anyone to go into my kitchen and watch me cook or eat."

The FDA says we're supposed to have less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium a day. But we usually eat nearly double that without even knowing it and much of it is already in our food before we ever pick up a salt shaker.

"Like refrigerated doughs, like pre-made biscuits or biscuit mixes, have a lot of salt in them," explained registered dietician Marlena Farley.

"I think if you educate the public more about what they're purchasing, what's in there and actually read the labels, they would have a better understanding," explained Eiseman. "As opposed to someone telling me what I can and can't eat and when I can and can't eat it."

Eiseman believes educating rather than regulating is what would go a long way in the kitchen and a long way to better health.

To read the full report from the Institute of Medicine, click here.

You can also read the recommended dietary guidelines for Americans from the USDA by visiting

And if you'd like to see how much sodium is in the food you eat, check out the USDA's What's In The Foods You Eat Search Tool.

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