DETROIT (WWJ) – The U.S. government is launching an assault on salt. 

Health officials are telling half of the U.S. population to drastically cut their daily salt intake. That warning goes especially for people who are 51 and older, all African-Americans and anyone suffering from hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

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WWJ Newsrasdio 950 spoke with Susanne Gunsorek, a registered dietitian at Providence Park Hospital in Novi , who says to substitute all that salt with herbs — and a lot of them.

“When you cut back on salt and flavor the food with herbs instead, you have to use quite a bit more of the herbs, because salt really enhances the flavor,” Gonsorek said.

“So, if you’re making a homemade soup, you use just a little bit of salt and lots of good oregano or basil or some other good flavor,” she said.

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Gunsorek says there are certain salty foods we should just plain stay away from.

“We’ve got to avoid canned foods, in particular; avoid packaged foods. You know, anything that’s been packaged to stay on the shelf for a year, you know how much salt had to be added to that food item,” he said.

The government recommends reducing daily sodium intake to little more than half a teaspoon.  Health officials are also recommending Americans watch and limit our fat intake, especially saturated fats — and cutting trans-fats out entirely.   They are also recording cholesterol intake be limited to 300 milligrams per day.

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To learn more, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD the guideline documents (.pdf format).