The Institute of Medicine report, “Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States” reports that Americans take in 3400mg of sodium daily. That’s about 8.5 grams or 1.5 teaspoons of salt. 94% of it we never see.
Looking at the Washington Post graph from its excellent story about how the FDA intends to lower sodium in foods, only 6% of comes from shaking it on food.
A food broker recently sent me a case of wildly flavorful bottled pasta sauces for possible endorsement. I tasted them all. They were also wildly salty.
I love sauces, and spent a lot of time learning to make, season and taste chile sauces at Topolobampo—probably the most flavorful 4 years of my life.
I also learned that other flavors–even in processed food–can taste good and give savory flavor and rich mouth feel too. Herbs and spices and acids and teas add flavor without calories or sodium.
And cutting salt intake by 3 grams a day could prevent tens of thousands of heart attacks, strokes and cases of heart disease. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure now.
Later this week, I’m going to do a dark chocolate tasting at IACP with 150+ chefs, restauranteurs and food service pros, as part of my talk on Food Revolution and Transformation. Flavor is one of the missing components in too many good-for-you-foods, and eating chocolate slowly–so rich in flavor and luscious in texture–can be a form of meditation.
You appreciate more because you spend more time with it. And therefore eat less.
It might just be the same with salt.