The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

Soda delivery in Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City. Between 1989 and 2006, the consumption of sugary drinks increased by 60 percent per capita in Mexico. Omar Bárcena/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Omar Bárcena/Flickr

There's a growing body of evidence suggesting that compounds found in cocoa beans, called polyphenols, may help protect against heart disease. Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Microwave popcorn containing trans fats from November 2013. The Grocery Manufacturers Association says the industry has lowered the amount of trans fat added to food products by more than 86 percent. But trans fats can still be found in some processed food items. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Landov

Support NPR

Support NPR

NPR Shop

Support The Programs You Love

© NPR

Texas' agricultural commissioner wants to do away with a decade-old ban on deep fryers and soda machines in schools. Josh Banks/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption Josh Banks/iStockphoto

Chef Eric David Corradetti presents dinner to residents at the Bethlehem Woods senior living facility in La Grange Park, Ill. His kitchen emphasizes fresh produce and meats and meals made from scratch. Courtesy of Unidine hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Unidine

Why did a deliberately bad study showing the weight-loss benefits of chocolate get picked up by many news outlets? Science journalist John Bohannon — the man behind the study — says reporting on junk nutrition studies happens all the time. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

Various food items that contained trans fats in November 2013. That month, the Food and Drug Administration first announced plans to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products. A final rule is expected any day now. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

Steaks on the grill at the Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo. So far there are no figures that show if the table salt ban, which was enacted a few years ago, is actually making a difference in Uruguayans' health. Travel Aficionado/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Travel Aficionado/Flickr

Numbat populations once dropped as low as 500 adults. To help save this endangered marsupial, the Perth Zoo has been rearing them in captivity for release back into the wild. But wild numbats eat only termites, which are too difficult to get in large quantities. So zoo staff have spent over a decade concocting a tasty and nutritious substitute. Helenabella via Wikimedia Commons hide caption

itoggle caption Helenabella via Wikimedia Commons

A whole range of foods in common in the Mediterranean diet — from fish to nuts to fruits and vegetables — are rich in antioxidants and may protect against cognitive decline. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

TV marketing that pushes foods high in salt, sugar and fat to children can put their long-term health at risk, according to past research. So has Big Food changed its ways? iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

A pedestrian walks by a Panera Bread restaurant on June 3 in San Francisco. Panera Bread is set to remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from items on its menu by the end of 2016. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Once the roots of the Eskimo potato got too tough to eat, Christopher McCandless started collecting the seeds in a plastic bag, says author Jon Krakauer. Photo courtesy of McCandless family hide caption

itoggle caption Photo courtesy of McCandless family

Back in 2012, Silver Diner — a fast-casual restaurant chain in Maryland and Virginia — completely overhauled its children's menu. Those changes helped dramatically improve the healthfulness of kids' meals ordered, a new study finds. Ron Cogswell/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Ron Cogswell/Flickr

In the Blue Zone of Okinawa, Japan, locals drink green tea with jasmine flowers and turmeric called shan-pien, which translates to "tea with a bit of scent." David McLain/Courtesy of Blue Zones hide caption

itoggle caption David McLain/Courtesy of Blue Zones

Food companies can make safety evaluations of their products in secret without ever telling the Food and Drug Administration. Luciano Lozano/Ikon Images/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Luciano Lozano/Ikon Images/Corbis

Performance nutrition experts recommend stopping at all the hydration stations for a quick fill-up of a sports drink to replenish the glycogen that's being burned during a marathon. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto