Tag Archives: high blood pressure

Potatoes Tied to High Blood Pressure Risk

Eating potatoes four or more times a week may increase the risk for high blood pressure, a large new study has found.

Researchers pooled results from three observational studies involving 187,453 men and women followed for more than 25 years. The participants returned health and diet questionnaires every two years, including whether a doctor had diagnosed hypertension. The study is in BMJ.

After controlling for body mass index, physical activity, smoking and other factors, they found that compared to eating potatoes only once a month, having one potato — baked, boiled or mashed — four to six times a week increased the risk for hypertension by 11 percent. Eating four or more four-ounce servings of French fries a week increased the risk by 17 percent. Adjusting for salt and saturated fat intake did not change the results, but the authors acknowledge that they could not control for all possible variables.

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Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

NYC’s Novel Salt Warning Rule Set to Take Effect at Chain

New York City begins a new era in nutritional warnings this week, when chain restaurants will have to start putting a special symbol on highly salty dishes.

The first-of-its-kind rule, which takes effect Tuesday, will require a salt-shaker emblem on some sandwiches, salads and other menu items that top the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams — about a teaspoon — of sodium.

It’s the latest in a series of novel nutritional moves by the nation’s biggest city, and it comes as health advocates, federal regulators and some in the food industry are trying to get Americans to cut down on salt. Experts say most Americans consume too much salt, raising their risks of high blood pressure and heart problems. But the plan faces opposition and a potential court challenge from restaurant groups and salt producers, who say the city is going overboard.

“When you see this warning label, you know that that item has more than the total amount of sodium that you should consume in a single day,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said Monday at an Applebee’s in Times Square as 40 of the chain’s New York City-area locations announced they had added the labels ahead of the deadline.

The average American consumes about 3,400 mg of salt per day, and public health advocates have cheered the measure as a smart step to make diners aware of how much sodium they’re ordering. A TGI Friday’s New York cheddar and bacon burger counts 4,280 mg, for example while a Chili’s boneless Buffalo chicken salad has 3,460 mg.

To read the full story, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary