Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pass the Salt

By Julie Rahm

Salt is big business. In 2007, the total world production of salt was estimated at 257 million metric tons, the top five producers being China (59.8 million tons), the United States (44.5), Germany (19.8), India (16.0), and Canada (11.8). Americans are responsible for most of the demand. We consume more than two-and-a-half times the recommended amount of salt. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium or about one teaspoon of salt per day. The Center for Disease Control found nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults are in high-risk groups that would benefit from a lower-salt diet of no more than 1,500 mg per day, yet most consume closer to 3,500 mg per day. Nearly everyone is aware of the risks. The Wall Street Journal reported that Pepsi is developing a “designer salt” that is slightly more powdery than the salt it regularly uses. The company hopes this new form of salt will cut sodium levels by 25-percent in its Lay’s potato chips. NestlĂ© prepared foods company, which produces frozen meals, announced that it will reduce sodium in its foods 10-percent by the year 2015. Also, General Mills announced that it will reduce the sodium content of 40-percent of its foods 20-percent by the year 2015.

It seems everyone is working toward lower salt consumption. But, salt is often consumed in a different way. Salt is sometimes rubbed into the wounds of others. And, even worse, some people rub salt into their own wounds. What do I mean? As an example, one of my clients, a tactless manager, was quick to point out the failures of others. He put salt in others’ wounds. His managerial style rendered him less effective than his counterparts. Instead of instructing, this manager would critique his employees in a harsh demeaning way. Productivity suffered until the manager was able to hear and feel the words he delivered. Once he stopped putting salt in wounds, productivity increased and the workplace environment improved dramatically. Most often, others know they have failed and don’t need to feel any additive pain.

Another misuse of salt is putting it in your own wounds. Self ridicule and negative self talk leads to underachieving. Your mind is your most powerful asset. Unfortunately, if you speak ill of yourself, your mind will believe what you tell it. What you focus on grows. The ability to turn a negative thought into a positive thought is the vital ingredient for a successful and fulfilling life. So, easy with the salt! Leave salt out of your wounds and be kind in what you say to yourself and others. Your mindset is the difference between achieving your desires and falling short.

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