Sodium Warnings Might Be Coming To NYC


Do yourself a favor: don’t reach for that salt shaker, at least at a Chipotle.

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio had proposed a law that would require that chain restaurants in New York City place a warning sign of a salt shaker enclosed in a black triangle next to items that contain at least 2300 milligrams of salt.

The daily salt intake recommended by the FDA is 2300 MG, and the FDA also advises that certain people should only consume 1500 MG. Ingesting too much salt can lead to high blood pressure.

The New York City Board of Health had unanimously approved this measure this past September, and the law had been scheduled to be put into effect on March 1st of 2016.

However, this measure has temporarily been halted. As could be expected, the National Restaurant Association has argued against the law, claiming that it “unfairly burdens restaurant owners,” an objection likely about the fear of a loss of profits if the law ultimately causes consumers to become more conscious about their salt intake and thus making new restaurant choices.

If you eat regularly from fast food chains — restaurants that occupy fifteen or more locations in a city (at least in the eyes of this proposed law) — chances are you are consuming too much salt. But how much salt is too much salt?

“We’re talking about a leading cause of death here,” said Dr. Mary Basset, commissioner of NYC’s health department, to the Wall Street Journal, in regards to the high levels of salt in foods of many New York City restaurant.

Just one product from many fast-food chains, even those like Panera or Chipotle, can reach or surpass the daily recommended intake of salt. McDonalds easily passes the limit with many offerings. Their “Big Breakfast Hotcakes” hold 2150 MG of sodium alone, over ninety-three percent of the daily recommended intake.

Chipotle, an NYU favorite (at least before they started poisoning people), offers a loaded chicken or pork burrito, which, with all the toppings rings up to a whopping 2,6550 MG of sodium. Their flour tortillas alone has 670 MG of sodium. What that means is this: If you have just a burrito for lunch, you exceed your daily intake of salt by 350 MG in one fell swoop.

There’s also Panera’s Full Bacon Turkey Bravo. which racks up a jaw-dropping 2800 MG of salt, 500 MG over the recommended amount, again in just one meal.

I’ve even saved the best for last. Fresh and Co, an NYU go-to, thrives off of presenting itself as using “fresh, local and organic” ingredients, but even Fresh and Co. is not safe from the list. Their chicken fresco holds 2000 mg of sodium, which is about eighty-seven percent of daily salt intake, which you probably didn’t expect from a place with a quinoa bar.

There are, of course, many aspects to consider about the food industry. Sodium intake is just one of them to be watchful of. It is certainly time that this regulation be put into effect for the benefit of the health of all New Yorkers.

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