Salt as Technology?!

There is something wrong when salt is refered to as a “technology.”  PepsiCo, the maker of Lay’s potato chips, is not only trying to reduce the salt content of Lay’s chips by 25% in the next 5 years, it is working on a “salt substitute” that tastes like salt, but requires much less “salt” to produce the same effect.  Unfortunately for consumers, this falls into the realm of proprietary information, so they will likely not need to disclose what the re-engineered salt is.  The amazing thing is that if this salt is strong enough to taste like the real thing, how do we know if this is safe??? 

The bigger picture here is that PepsiCo is trying to take an old familiar product and disguise it in new clothes under the guise of being healthier.  However, it is still a snack full of a simple starch, which inevitably can increase blood sugar, leading to a rise in insulin levels, which then increases cravings for these types of starchy foods.  It is not the answer to America’s growing obesity epidemic.  What we need to do, as we see with a program such as Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, is learn how to eat healthy.  Less salt by itself is not necessarily healthy, if the foods that are being eaten are devoid of important nutrients.  As some may recall, the Low-Fat/ No-Fat craze of the 80’s resulted in a whole bunch of weight gain!  We need to educate people to eat nutrient-dense foods that provide a balanced level of nutrition and calories.  Eating chips is not part of a healthy, balanced diet, if there are no fruits and vegetables making up the majority of that diet. 

More importantly, such products should not be allowed onto the market until several studies have been conducted to look at the product’s effects on blood sugar, insulin, blood pressure, etc… 

Sure, people will cheat on occasion, but people need to be educated on what is truly healthy eating, and be able to distinguish that from “guilt-free” eating (because a package label makes a product sound healthier).

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