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Spare Us the Salt! Oregonians Paying a Hefty Price for Hidden Salt
Date:11/6/2008

ra Brill, vice president of marketing for Foster Farms.

Too much salt also takes its toll on our health. New studies show a correlation between sodium intake and weight gain, hypertension and heart disease, all conditions on the rise in the U.S. In Oregon alone, more than 1 in 4 adults has high blood pressure and 62 percent of Oregonians are either overweight or obese.

Most sodium ingested does not come from the shaker, but is added by manufacturers to processed and "enhanced" foods. The end result: long-term health problems that will affect future generations and health care budgets at all levels of governance.

"Research shows that a high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure," notes Foster Farms nutritionist Nancy Bennett MS, RD, CDE. "Excessive sodium also has short-term effects such as water retention which can contribute to bloating, headaches, muscle cramps, and weight gain."

So why are U.S. consumers still upping their intake? "Here in the U.S., salt is in virtually everything we eat, even if we forgo the salt shaker," says Bennett. This hidden sodium only perpetuates our taste for salt. "Just because you are not adding salt to your meal, does not guarantee that there isn't already an unhealthy amount of sodium present. All the while, your body is becoming used to the taste of salt-laden foods."

Foster Farms encourages consumers to take action to protect their health and their bottom line by shopping smart and reading labels. Nutritionists with the company have provided the following tips for uncovering hidden sodium in the grocery store and for helping shake that salty habit (see sidebar).

For more information, visit http://www.fosterfarms.com.

About Foster Farms

Founded by Max and Verda Foster in 1939, Foster Farms continues today as a family-owned and operated company. Foster F
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SOURCE Foster Farms
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