The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

Food on display at a Miami supermarket. Advocacy groups say they're concerned that Americans are consuming foods with added flavors, preservatives and other ingredients that have never been reviewed by regulators for immediate dangers or long-term health effects. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A distinct version of the Mediterranean diet is followed on the Blue Zone island of Ikaria, Greece. It emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, beans, fruit, moderate amounts of alcohol and low quantities of meat and dairy products. Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones hide caption

itoggle caption Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones

A mock-up of a warning label for sodas and sugary drinks proposed in California by public health advocates. California Center for Public Health Advocacy hide caption

itoggle caption California Center for Public Health Advocacy

Support NPR

Support NPR

NPR Shop

Support The Programs You Love

© NPR

The salty suspects: Some 70 percent of the cheeses, soups, cold cuts and pizzas we buy at the grocery store exceed the Food and Drug Administration's "healthy" labeling standards for salt. Since we eat so much bread, it is — perhaps surprisingly — the top contributor of sodium to our diets. iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr

Beginning April 1, all sugary beverages and food of "minimal-to-no nutritional value" sold on the Navajo reservation will incur an additional 2-cent tax. April Sorrow/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption April Sorrow/Flickr

Frito-Lay reformulated Flamin' Hot Cheetos, a perennial favorite among school kids, to meet new federal "Smart Snack" rules for schools. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR

A health inspection grade is posted outside a Manhattan eatery. In several cities, Yelp users can now find out how a restaurant scored on its health inspection well before they walk through the door. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mario Tama/Getty Images

"There's no reason to believe that exposure to arsenic in food and wine is above levels that are considered to be safe," says Susan Ebeler, a professor and chemist in the Foods For Health Institute at the University of California, Davis. Erik Schelzig/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Erik Schelzig/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Central Illinois corn farmer Jerry McCulley refills his sprayer with the weedkiller glyphosate on a farm near Auburn, Ill. A new assessment of the chemical finds that the (uncertain) risks mainly affect the people who work with it or who come in direct contact with areas where it's applied. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Seth Perlman/AP

Bottom round roast is one cut of beef that fits the government's definition of "lean." Still, the definition is confusing to consumers, nutrition scientists argue. Paul Polis/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Polis/Corbis

An economist with the Rand Corporation argues that Los Angeles' fast-food ban failed because it merely blocked new construction or expansion of "stand-alone fast-food" restaurants in neighborhoods where that style of restaurant was uncommon to begin with. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David McNew/Getty Images

(Left to right) Rodeo concessions include the loaded potato; deep-fried chocolate cupcake and the Texas Tater Twister, a spiral-cut tater on a sausage, deep-fried. (Left and Center)Robert Young/Flickr; Dave 77459/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption (Left and Center)Robert Young/Flickr; Dave 77459/Flickr

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis during a guest appearance on ABC's The Chew last fall. She can cook rich foods and keep her trim figure, but new research suggests that's a difficult feat for amateur cooks watching along at home. Lou Rocco/ABC/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Lou Rocco/ABC/Getty Images

Farmer Magoichi Shigihara checks on his cucumber farm in Nihonmatsu in Fukushima prefecture, about 31 miles west of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, in May 2011. Testing shows radiation in foods grown and raised in Fukushima is back to pre-accident levels. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

An order of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. McDonald's says it plans to start using chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. Mark Duncan/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Duncan/AP

Three varieties of Kenyan purple tea from What-Cha: silver needle purple varietal white tea (from left), hand-rolled purple varietal oolong, steamed purple varietal green tea-style tea. Jeff Koehler for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Koehler for NPR

A government-appointed panel concluded in a recent report that Americans should eat less red meat and processed meat. A more plant-focused diet is better for health and the environment, it found. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Burton/Getty Images

In a landmark new study, researchers found that babies who consumed the equivalent of about 4 heaping teaspoons of peanut butter each week, starting when they were between 4 and 11 months old, were about 80 percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy by age 5. To avoid a choking hazard, doctors say kids should be fed peanuts mixed in other foods, not peanuts or globs of peanut butter. Anna/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Anna/Flickr