Is salt and sugar really making our society ill?

Yesterday, Reuters reported that our intake of salt and sugar is helping to make us ill, raise our cholesterol and our blood pressure (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63J69U20100420).  There are many food gurus that have been critical of the american diet for some time.  People like the taste of salty and sugary foods and the food industry has given them what they wanted.  There is a movement in government to attempt to regulate the amounts of this gradually in our foods.  


In the restaurant industry, items that do not sell do not last.  If foods that have excess sugars, starches and salt is what sells, it is only natural for them to produce what people want.  Unfortunately, we pay for it years later with higher medical costs which may have been prevented.  It has been recommended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration begin to regulate the amounts of this in food.  While I applaud their ideas and their efforts, this is just a small part of a greater problem.  Most processed foods are full of salts and sugars, with one of the worst being corn based fructose sweeteners, which our body does not understand and cannot process well. We pay farmers to grow corn for the purpose of making corn sweeteners and pay them not go grow other things.  People who are poorer often do not buy certain foods that are healthy for them because of their cost.  On the other hand, Kraft macaroni and cheese which is all chemicals and salt is dirt cheap.  Even when I was a student and much poorer, I would often use this this as a cheap meal.  What would happen if we asked farmers to grow food and then made it so the cost was less in the supermarket, perhaps less than Kraft macaroni and cheese?  My guess is people would eat food that is better for them.  

I also think that we can make prepared meals healthier as well by using less salt and other preservatives.  We probably need a different model for todays busy lifestyle so the fast food we purchase not only tastes good but is good for you.  If we think of all the money we spend on disease, doesn’t it make sense that preventing it with better diets will be a better way to live.

Since it is spring, I am again trying to create a successful garden in my back yard.  Many of us were disappointed last year because of the weather but this year can be a winner.  The best food is that which is right off the plant.  If you have never tried to create your own garden, perhaps, this may be your calling for better food, which you now control since it came right from your garden.

What do you think? I value your comments.