« Popular shoe brands in Japan | Main | Japanese standard »

Sunday, February 27, 2005



Your facts on American salt intake are off by a decimal place. The average in the US is about 4 grams per day. The recommendation is for Americans to reduce this to 2 grams per day.

Dick Hanneman

I'm not sure where the "four times" average salt intake came from. The best source on dietary salt intake is the massive Intersalt Study (British Medical Journal, July 30, 1988) which found that sodium levels (sodium is 39% of salt) for nearly all the 52 populations studied in 32 countries around the world averaged between 6-12 grams of salt a day (2,400 mg - 4,600 mg) -- but the outlier was a northern Japanese population with nearly 5,300 mg (about 13 grams of salt). Most agree that Japanese salt intake has declined in the intervening years.

The key point is that the Intersalt Study's primary hypothesis, that blood pressure would be directly related to salt intake, was not confirmed by the research. Since then, the debate has moved on to the more relevant question of whether reducing dietary salt will lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Research doesn't find this benefit either. Read more at our Salt Institute website, http://www.saltinstitute.org/28.html and see the original studies at http://www.saltinstitute.org/healthrisk.html. From time to time, our blog also addresses qeustions like this at http://saltsensibility.blogspot.com.

Dick Hanneman
Salt Institute


Hi abraxis
Japanese food is salty because of soy sauce. It is so true.

Hi robert
I dot not like salty. I like hot food but salty food, I can not eat much.

Hi Bjorn
Yes I was impressed to his report too. Thank you for your kind comment anyway.

Hi TronDD
Yes that is the problem, when we try to control the salt,
first of all, we should stop instants and fast food.

Hi Leila
Miso is salty very much, So now we have low salt miso at supermarket and it sells very well


Salt on McDonald's and In and Out fries!!!!


I've noticed too the salt content in a lot of Japanese foods (even ramen!) and along with the smoking and drinking and fish, ppl seem to be not-obese and long lived.

That's hella kakkoi lah!
(previous sentence a mix of California, Japanese and Singapore speak..)


hah hah hah!!! Tsukemerica! I'm pickled tink. ­°(^0^)°
I love my salt super-sized. sadly I know I consume far more salt than I probably should..but my thinking is, if I die and get cremated, my ashes would make a very cool glaze with lots of fluxing properties thanks to the high concentration of sodium,calcium and bone ash that way I could coat my final piece of pottery in a drippy glassy looking mess that might even last centuries...in a landfill. It could happen. In the meantime does anyone know of a better topping for McDonalds fries than a nice cake of crystallized white salvation? Tsukemono me! Okay I vow to live healthier. from now on I will adopt a Japanese lifestyle, well maybe not smoking(unless I'm on fire) but I think I will start drinking heavily, it sounds like my kind of health kick. Here's to longevity! Kampai!


Thanks for this great post. Also the Bill Sardi link is interesting. Maybe it's time to rethink a lot of the things I learned when I was young... like lots of milk (good for the bones), not too many eggs (heart disease), avoid tobacco and alcohol... it seems with a Japanese diet and lifestyle you can get away with all of these. :)


Also a lot of people are eating microwave dinners instead of cooking. There is a lot of salt in those, too.

I find it amusing at a restaraunt when someone gets their food, they put salt on it right away. They don't even taste it first. How do they know it needs salt?

I don't add salt to anything. If it doesn't taste good without adding salt, then it's not good food.


Oh yes, salt consumption here in the US is very high, mostly because of the fast food restaurants. Although people will put salt on their breakfast, lunch and dinner (and our most popular snacks are high in salt, such as potato chips), even when they don't eat fast food. Salt on EVERYTHING. Me, I only like salt when it comes to miso soup. :P

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan