The long-awaited federal effort to prevent deaths from heart disease and stroke is at hand.

Federal regulations are being considered to put pressure on food companies about the sodium levels of their food products.

In a recent interview, Margaret Hamburg, the FDA Commissioner, remarked that sodium is a “of huge interest and concern,” because the current sodium consumption by the American public is higher than it should be for health.

Typically, most Americans consume 3400 milligrams of sodium per day. Whereas, the American Heart Association recommends that everyone consume no more than 1500 mg/day.

Unfortunately, most of the sodium consumed on a daily basis is hidden in processed and restaurant foods and puts one at risk for high blood pressure and stroke.

The sodium levels in foods can vary greatly. Who would suspect that a turkey deli sandwich with only 3 oz. of meat could contain sodium levels anywhere between in 450 mg/ to 1,050 mg just for lunch?

Unfortunately, most people are unaware about how to reduce sodium in their diets.

However, just substituting salt and replacing it with a wonderful blend of herbs and spices increases flavor and makes food more even more enjoyable and healthy.

I know this to be true. I have lived it.

The American Heart Association released a film in the 1980’s for post-surgery heart patients. Ironically, I attended the review of that film with my mother, who was being discharged from Kaiser in San Francisco, after her heart surgery. I gasped when I saw my own Parsley Patch Salt-free Blends being displayed as a way to cope with reducing sodium in the diet .

My heart sank. I had just sold Parsley Patch to McCormick and now more than ever my mother needed my blends that were no longer mine to give her.

Thankfully, the FDA is once again raising concern about the excess use of sodium in the American diet.

If you can do only one thing to improve your health. Start with reducing sodium. Your heart will thank you for it.

Be well . . .