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We May Fall For Salt Early; New Study

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New research suggests parents should be very careful about what kind of snacks they feed their infant children. Starchy foods like crackers may lead to a taste for salt and salty foods in later life.

The study, published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, noted that children as young as six-months prefer salty foods if they were given snacks like crackers and cereal. Starchy foods are the main source of sodium in a baby’s diet.

By the time those babies reached pre-school age, a significant percentage gravitated towards foods like potato chips, hot dogs, and french fries – all sources of high levels of sodium. And the taste for salt, once established, appears to continue through the child’s life. Salt and high-sodium foods frequently lead to increased blood pressure, as well as heart disease and stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 9 in 10 Americans consume more sodium in their daily diet than recommended levels.

How can you keep your kids from developing a “salty tooth”? The study found that infants who ate only baby food, or snacked only on fruit, were less likelt to develop a taste for salt or salty foods in later life. 

(CNN.com)

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