Remember when we told you last year that New York City would soon force chain restaurants to print little salt shaker icons next to menu items containing more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium?
Well, that went into effect on December 1st, just in time to let us all know how horribly we were eating over the holiday season.
The National Restaurant Association (NRA, though not to be confused with the National Rifle Association), filed a lawsuit arguing that the city's Board of Health was unfairly targeting chain restaurants.
That lawsuit appeared in front of the Manhattan State Supreme Court, where Justice Eileen Rakower decided that the city's salt rules were justified and unbiased.
"Some people just love salty foods, and they're going to go ahead and eat those foods regardless of whether they have a salt icon next to them," she stated during her ruling yesterday. "It's not a ban. It's information. It's a warning."
The NRA has already indicated that they plan to appeal. S. Preston Ricardo, an attorney for the NRA stated that the ruling "would basically open up the floodgates... The sodium mandate is nothing like the board has ever done before."
Essentially, the NRA believes that this ruling will allow the city's Board of Health to place warnings on menus regarding what they deem, "lifestyle choices."
"It's way too overboard and it advises people of things that may not apply to them," Ricardo said.
But how much sodium is too much? According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Americans should consume less than 2,300 mg a day.
What does 2,300 mg look like? It's about a tea spoon. To put that into context, let's take a bag of nacho cheese flavored Doritos. Have you ever checked out the nutrition facts? Probably not. They're great for mindless eating.
However, eating only 11 chips (1 oz) will put you back 210 mg of sodium, or 9% of your daily recommended intake. But who can really only eat 11 chips? We're more likely to double or triple that number in one sitting. That's 420-630 mg a day.
When you add in your actual meals, you can be assured that you're consuming quite a bit more than the recommended daily sodium intake... Hell, a salt bagel from Dunkin Donuts has 3,380 mg of salt... and that's just in a bagel!
But sometimes the sodium levels aren't all that obvious. A "fontega chicken panini on foccacia," has a whopping 2150 mg in a whole sandwich.
It's become pretty obvious that Americans eat far too much sodium, without even recognizing that they're doing so.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that the excessive sodium intake of Americans causes hypertension, or high blood pressure. However, high sodium intakes also have an affect on the kidneys.
Regardless of whether or not you care about your salt consumption, chains will now be forced to comply with the city's salt icons within the next six days, or face anywhere between a $200 and $600 fine.[via Gothamist] [Feature Image Courtesy CBS New York]