Skip to main content

Salt

The negative health consequences of salt are stark. Sadly, the homeless community and other poor people who go to soup kitchens or get a significant portion of their food from food banks or churches or from kindly people distributing food from their car, intake huge quantities of sodium.

In Homeless World we are assaulted by salt ― in chips and crackers and from the heavy seasoning hand of soup kitchen cooks.

The Union Gospel Mission now regularly offers salt and pepper in packets with their evening meals, which allows diners to season their food themselves. In combination with putting less salt in prepared foods, people have the opportunity to cut back on their salt intake.

But cutting back on the salt assault is rare in a world where stale baked goods and past-due-date packets of salty food is a rather substantial portion of what is available to be eaten, and where soups and salads and cornbread glisten with tiny white freckles.

A prime offender is the lunch meals served at Loaves & Fishes. Typically, crackers and cornbread and heavily salted side dishes are mainstays of meals.

Here's what Nutrition Action Health Lettter says about salt on the cover page of its April, 2010, issue:
Shaving Salt, Saving Lives

It could prevent up to 92,000 deaths and 66,000 strokes every year. It could keep up to 99,000 Americans from having a heart attack and up to 120,000 others from getting heart disease every year. And it could save $10 to $24 billion in health care costs every year.

That's what we could save by cutting 1,200 milligrams of sodium out of the average American's daily diet. [The average, now, is ~3,500 mg per person per day, with government "recommended" levels being 1,500 mg.]

"The health benefits to the U.S. population would be on a par with cutting the number of smokers and the number of people exposed to secondhand smoke by half," says researcher Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo of the University of California, San Francisco.

And those figures are probably an underestimate.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The devastating effects of schizophrenia in one man's life

A powerful story of the deteriorating life and death of once-respectable Sacramento citizen, Mike Lehmkuhl,  is told by  reporter Cynthia Hubert in Sunday’s [7/31/16] Bee.
Lehmkuhl is described as a very likable guy with a sometimes-goofy personality that went along with a formidable intelligence. He was a “standout wrestler” in high school and an “accomplished gymnast at Sacramento State” where he graduated and then got into the building trade before going on to run a contracting business and have a home proximate to Country Club Plaza.
Friends describe him as being “happy” and “sanguine” at that time in his life, when he was about age 50.
But, by 2011, when Lehmkuhl was 53, he was hearing voices in his head and his life began to fall apart. He tumbled into a homeless life, combatting demons in his head that spoke to him. The Hubert piece provides a comprehensive picture of a good man beset by a devastating condition: schizophrenia. Lehmkuhl had good friends and loyal family members…

Homelessness and Remembrance

This is a follow-up on the matter of remembering homeless people who have died and the Wall that Libby Fernandez wants to build in remembrance of the deceased. [See earlier blogpost "Tell Libby NOT to build her wall."]

This blogpost is prompted by a Philosophy Bites podcast released in the last couple days -- titled "C├ęcile Fabre on Remembrance." Fabre's take on why we honor or grieve for certain individuals or certain collections of individuals is not greatly helpful -- since his focus is mainly one of fallen war heroes and war casualties -- but it does open up the issue of why should there be a remembrance effort for deceased homeless people at all. Who is served by it? And has the effort been perverted by the avarice of charities in their insatiable drive for donations.

It is, for starters, a curious thing for "homeless people" to be a collective that is honored. I write that NOT because I don't want the best for homeless people. But, homelessn…

The first-person dimension of homeless Sacramentans suffering from Schizophrenia

"Disabilities and dysfunction process from having been shunned and denied access to needed opportunitites and networks of support."
~ the brothers Lysaker in Schizophrenia and the Fate of the SelfWhat is schizophrenia? How many are homeless Sacramentans?

Perhaps 15% of the Sacramento homeless population suffers from schizophrenia. The percentage is difficult to determine for many reasons that branch from both the fuzzy definition of the malady and that many people within the homeless community who have the illness (1) are in denial and are undiagnosed and (2) have the illness as a diagnosis only – the disability can be faked by people who are successful claimants of social security and other benefits.

What is schizophrenia? One webspace gives us this definition: The most chronic and disabling of the severe mental disorders. Typically develops in the late teens or early twenties. The overt symptoms are hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing visions), delusions (false beliefs ab…